Images courtesy of Porsche
Porsche has made the first shakedown test of its LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) prototype, set to contest the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023 in parallel factory programs run by Team Penske and with customer cars in the hands of private teams.
The first run, delayed from before the Christmas break, saw the car driven by Porsche factory river Frederic Makowiecki and took place at Porsche’s Weissach test track. It was the first opportunity that Porsche has offered to see the car as a full vehicle rather than carefully selected “teaser” images.
In particular, the images and short video clips released today gave the opportunity to see the front end of the car and to confirm that it is indeed, as suggested by Porsche, based on styling cues from the iconic Group C Porsche 956 of the early 1980s.
The car, which is believed to be powered by a derivative of a production twin turbo V8 found in a number of Porsche models including the Cayenne SUV, is understood not as yet to have been running with the spec hybrid boost system. The same hybrid system will equip every version of the LMDh which is currently set to include Porsche, Audi, Acura, BMW and Cadillac in 2023, with Renault’s Alpine sporting brand confirmed for 2024 and others including Lamborghini and McLaren also expected to follow suit.
Makowiecki observed simply that “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.”
The program will now move into full track testing mode as the Porsche and Penske operations look to claw back some lost time.