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Porsche reveals LMDh prototype with striking design

Feb 28 2022
By Rob Fletcher
Category Feature
Porsche applied these eye-catching graphics to its new LMDh prototype, which will compete in the some of the world’s greatest endurance races including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring.
 
Revealed in January this year, the vehicle will be fielded in the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship under the team name ‘Porsche Penske Motorsport’.
 
An intensive test programme is now underway, with Porsche aiming to have the car ready for its debut race in January 2023 – the 24 Hours of Daytona, the traditional opening round of the IMSA series.
 
The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the most famous races in endurance racing, having first taken place back in 1966. The event runs each year at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach in Florida in the US, with participants challenged to complete as many laps of the track as they can in 24 hours.
 
The inaugural race in 1966 was won by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby driving a Ford Mk, while Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the history of the race, having claimed a total of 18 titles. However, its last win was back in 2003 and the manufacturer will be looking to return to its glory days with the LMDh prototype.
 
The new car has been built with a combustion engine to complement the standard hybrid elements, as stipulated by competition regulations, Porsche also opted for a large-capacity twin-turbo V8 unit to give it the best chance of winning.
 
Porsche had the environment in mind when creating the prototype, with the engine having been designed to run on renewable fuels, meaning a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
 
“We were spoiled for choice with the engine for our LMDh prototype, because the product range offers several promising baseline units,” Porsche Motorsport vice president Thomas Laudenbach said.
 
“We decided on the V8-biturbo, which we feel offers the best combination of performance characteristics, weight and costs. The kick-off to the active test programme was an important step for the project.”
 
Urs Kuratle, overall project manager for LMDh at Porsche Motorsport, added: “The rollout of the LMDh racing car was also the first track outing for Porsche Penske Motorsport. The squad worked well together right from the start. This shows a high level of professionalism in all areas. After all, the operational requirements for the safe running of a hybrid vehicle are very high.
 
“In the next outings we will focus on going deeper into the required processes and procedures. During these first test days at Weissach, the V8-biturbo impressed us in every respect. We’re convinced that we’ve chosen precisely the right unit.”
 
Following its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the LMDh will go on to compete in a host of other races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest endurance racing event, having started back in 1924.
 
Incidentally, Porsche also holds the record for the most wins at Le Mans, with a total of 19 to date, its most recent being in 2017.
 
 

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