Porsche and Penske reunite
Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske are to reunite to field the German marque’s new LMDh prototype in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC).
The factory entries, which will run under the Porsche Penske Motorsport banner, reprise the successful partnership that blazed a trail with the Porsche RS Spyder from 2006 to 2008 in what was then the American Le Mans Series.
The new LMDh vehicle will also be entered as a customer car in both series as early as the 2023 season.
The LMDh cars, which weigh approximately 1,000 kilograms, are based on an LMP2 chassis. They will be powered by a 500 kW (680 PS) hybrid drivetrain and compete against the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) division on the world stage.
“As of 2023, Porsche will compete in the major endurance racing series. Our intention is to support and shape the new era with our LMDh prototypes,” said Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development. “Not only will we be keeping our fingers crossed for the four factory cars we have in total, but also for our customer teams.
“These partner teams will be given our full support. Whatever insights we gain from our factory effort will also be shared with them.”
Campaigning the Porsche RS Spyder, Team Penske scooped all the titles in the ALMS LMP2 class for three years in succession between 2006 and 2008, beating the faster LMP1 prototypes multiple times. Back in the 1970s, the US-based team had already been extremely successful with the legendary Porsche 917 in the Can-Am series.
“This is a proud day for our entire Penske organization. We have represented Porsche on the track or in our businesses for more than six decades. The heritage and success we have enjoyed together is unparalleled throughout our history,” commented Roger Penske. “I can’t wait to get started as we build a global racing programme with Porsche that will compete for wins and championships well into the future.”
“Team Penske has made a name for itself with an almost unparalleled success story in motorsport. In the long list of victories to date, however, the name Le Mans has been missing,” said Fritz Enzinger, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “I hope that we will finally be able to chalk up this success as of 2023 with Porsche Penske Motorsport. This would then mark Porsche’s 20th overall victory at the Sarthe – a dream come true.”
The multi-year deal will see Porsche Motorsport operating a team base in the USA together with Team Penske at the American team’s headquarters in Mooresville in the State of North Carolina.