We already knew that Porsche was returning to Endurance with an LMDH chassis designed by Multimatic and in partnership with Penske Racing, which had already run the RS Spyder in the 2000s. Now we have the name and the livery.
Heiress of a great lineage
The prototype which marks the return of the firm to 19 victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans takes the name of 963, thus marking the “symbolic” affiliation with the Porsche 962the racing car from Weissach which took part in Group C and the IMSA GTP between 1984 and 1990 and won Le Mans in 1986 and 1987. this 963 will be a hybrid, with a 4.6-litre biturbo V8, based on the unit of the 918 Spyder which itself derived from the block used on the LMP2 RS Spyder prototype.
LMDh cars like the Porsche, as well as competing designs from BMW, Acura, Cadillac and Lamborghini, will be able to compete with prototypes built to Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) specifications Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) in the standings. General of IMSA, whose new upper class from 2023 will be called Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) – a name that brings back memories of the great era of the 80s.
In red and white, like others
Visually too, the link with the Group C prototypes can be found in the relative simplicity of the lines, especially at the front, sharp with the tortured aerodynamics of the LMP1s. We also find the four-part optics, which make it possible to quickly identify the Porsche and to make the link with the design of the series cars. And we will need it because, if the livery remains red and white in this way, we will have to develop a lynx look next year to distinguish all these prototypes which pull towards red and whitesuch as the Toyotas and the Glickenhaus, without forgetting the next Ferraris which, too, should naturally resort to the Rosso.
In the end, this Porsche has a certain look but the LMDH formatting necessarily prevents a “wow” effect, unless Cadillac bluffs everyone with a daring design. But it is undoubtedly on the Hypercar side that we will find the most advanced designs, as the Peugeot 9X8 has already proven.
On the drivers’ side, a few names have already been confirmed, such as that of André Lotterer, triple winner at Le Mans with Audi and who has been racing for Porsche in Formula E in recent years.
Engaged in the LMDH class, the Porsche 963 is symbolically in line with the 956 and 962 which dominated Endurance in the 80s. Will the same success be there? It remains to know the final crews.