Not to mention the significant Porsche prototypes that preceded the 962. The preceding 956, made famous in Rothmans colors by Jacky Ickx, Hans Stuck and Stefan Bellof, was the symbolic sports car of the ‘80s. A decade earlier, the 917 was a legend unto itself, as the winner of all the key international endurance races (Rolex 24 At Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as Watkins Glen and Spa), but also in sprint race configuration as the 917-10 and 917-30 that claimed consecutive SCCA Can-Am championships for Porsche and Team Penske and drivers George Follmer and Mark Donohue. In the ‘60s, the 908 started it all.
Porsche and Penske have teamed up again, as Porsche Penske Motorsport will field a pair of 963s in the 2023 WeatherTech Championship and two entries in the WEC. The new design features a 4.6-liter, twin-turbo V-8 based on the engine that powered the Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) contender to multiple victories around the world between 2005 and 2010, but otherwise is all new. Like all GTP competitors, the 963 is based on a homologated LMP2-specification central section, in this case produced by Multimatic – one of four approved chassis suppliers.
The 963 has served as the test car for the standardized hybrid powertrain system being developed for all LMDh cars. Porsche has completed nearly 8,000 kilometers of testing over the last several months.
The Friday demonstration run at Goodwood unveiled a traditional Porsche white, red and black livery that will likely be carried over into the 2023 racing season.
“We’re on a very good path, but there is still work to be done before the start of next season,” said Thomas Laudenbach, Porsche vice president of Motorsport.
“I’m positive we will be well-positioned when it comes to technology, and we’ve also created the relevant team structures to set us up for wins in the thrilling competition between many manufacturers and different concepts.”
Porsche has not announced specific driver assignments for the IMSA and WEC endeavors, but former WeatherTech Championship champions Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr are among a talented group of Porsche works drivers.