Porsche has completed the first major test session of its 2023 prototype, just over a year after first announcing its commitment to design a race car for the new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) sports prototype category.
The Porsche LMDh prototype which has yet to be officially announced, was recently put to the test at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, covering over 1,200 kilometers in just a few days.
During the test session, Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr who are the first confirmed drivers for the Porsche’s LMDh program, were able to try out the car on its first tour.
The session’s goal was to set up various systems, create tires, and optimize the interaction between the internal-combustion and electric sides of the hybrid engine. The LMDh is powered by a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine and a single electric motor-generator.
While the V-8 engine can produce anywhere from 643 to 697 hp on its own to meet any Balance of Performance requirements, the peak output must be reduced when the engine is combined with the electric motor, as both power sources can only produce 670 hp when measured at the half-shafts, according to LMDh rules.
Porsche will enter its car in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA SportsCar Championship, in the respective Hypercar and GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) premier classes, utilizing a chassis supplied by Multimatic of Canada, one of four chassis suppliers for the LMDh category.
Cars from the rival Le Mans Hypercar category are welcome in both classes, with organizers relying on Balance of Performance regulations to help level the playing field.
In both the WEC and SportsCar championships, Porsche has partnered with America’s Team Penske for the LMDh program. The team, known as Porsche Penske Motorsport, is based in Penske’s headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina, which is also where the company’s IndyCar and NASCAR campaigns are managed.