Thomas Laudenbach, head of Porsche Motorsport, described the on-site testing of the hybrid prototype’s debut at January’s Daytona 24 Hours, the opener of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as “a good step forward”.
“I’m happy to see that we’ve made progress,” Laudenbach told Motorsport.com.
“The [development] the curve went up and we got a lot of miles, which is good.”
The test, conducted by the Porsche Penske Motorsport team, coincided with the release of a revised version of the motor-generator motor-generator of the LMDh universal hybrid system developed by Bosch, a component that Porsche insiders called “version 2.2”.
But Laudenbach did not describe the Daytona run as a breakthrough test for the 963, which will return Porsche to the top of sports car racing in both IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.
“I’m happy with the progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do, so I think it’s too early to say if it was a turning point,” he explained.
“I don’t want to be too negative, but it’s not done yet.”
Porsche 963 LMDh
Laudenbach admitted that development of the Porsche LMDh, which for the first time outpaced rival cars from BMW, Cadillac and Acura by at least six months, “is still behind schedule.”
His comments came after Porsche confirmed it had abandoned any plans to take part in the WEC final in Bahrain in November from 963 to no points, on invitations in favor of maintaining focus on testing.
Laudenbach admitted that Porsche will have a hard time getting cars destined for next year’s IMSA series to customers before they race at Daytona in late January.
He also refused to accept WEC client Porsche’s commitment to attend their first race of the season, the Sebring 1000 Miles in mid-March.
The only 963 present at Daytona covered over 2,200km in hands Dane Cameron, Mathieu Jamine and Matt Campbell over two days that included running in wet weather and at night.
This follows the first American test of Porsche’s new LMDh at Sebring in July, which lasted five days.
Cadillac and Acura also participated in the Daytona test with their V-LMDh and ARX-06 contenders.
Cadillac had two cars, one for each of the factory teams for the following season, Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racingand Acura with one chassis to look after Wayne Taylor Racing.