New Porsche LMDh prototype makes test debut

The new Porsche LMDh prototype that will join the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship in 2023 has hit the track for the first time.

New Porsche LMDh prototype makes test debut

The new car ran at the German manufacturer's Weissach test track within the development complex at which its motorsport headquarters are based with Frenchman Frederic Makowiecki at the wheel on Friday.

The Porsche hybrid is understood to have completed multiple laps in what was a delayed roll-out for a car that will bring the marque back to the pinnacle of sportscar racing for the first time since 2017.

New Porsche motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach re-iterated an intent to have the car up and running before the end of 2022 in his first interviews after taking over the role in September.

The first LMDh to hit the track had been due to undertake its shakedown at the beginning of December and then at the end of the month, but those plans had to be delayed as a result of the late arrival of parts.

Porsche factory driver Makowiecki, who had a reserve role on the 919 Hybrid P1 programme, said in a series of Twitter posts from the manufacturer: "It was a very positive roll-out: we could do some laps and discovered that the car is working as expected.

"Now we have a good starting point to go forward.

"My first thought went to all the people who worked so many months to get the Porsche LMDh car on the ground.

"It is very emotional moment to be allowed to represent them.“

Laudenbach described the test as "a very important step in the development process our our new WEC/IMSA contender for 2023".

Porsche LMDh  prototype

Porsche LMDh prototype

Photo by: Porsche

The Porsche LMDh based on the next-generation LMP2 car developed by the Canadian Multimatic Motorsport organisation looks set to undertake further tests at Weissach over the next week to 10 days.

Testing will then move to a proper race circuit of undisclosed location before the end of January.

Development will be led by Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron, who were announced as Porsche drivers in December and will be part of the line-up in the factory team run by Team Penske in both the WEC and IMSA in 2023.

It is known that plans to undertake some of the early testing in the USA have been abandoned and that initial development with the new car will be exclusively in Europe.

More technical details of the car that shares it structure and running gear with sister marque Audi's LMDh are likely to be announced when it takes to a proper circuit.

The configuration of the engine that will power the new Porsche and Audi has yet to be revealed.

A name for the car is likely to come later in the year.

shares
comments

Related video

WEC confident Sebring opener will go ahead in March despite COVID concerns
Previous article

WEC confident Sebring opener will go ahead in March despite COVID concerns

Next article

Lopez: Kobayashi team principal appointment won't change Toyota dynamic in WEC

Lopez: Kobayashi team principal appointment won't change Toyota dynamic in WEC
Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023 Plus

Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023

OPINION: There is plenty of excitement over the glut of manufacturers tackling the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship this season. The selection committee is set to face headaches over who it decides to admit and who gets turned away from the 2023 entry list, but history tells us that the smaller entrants have a place

WEC
Jan 9, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022
Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay? Plus

Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay?

OPINION: Fresh from hosting a controversial 2022 football World Cup, Qatar has added its name to the 2024 World Endurance Championship calendar. Although questions may be asked about its presence on the calendar, is it simply the price to pay for having a healthy racing championship?

WEC
Dec 21, 2022
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Plus

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022