LMDH’s four-car attack at Le Mans 2023 unlikely

The German manufacturer suggested it would be too early to program with the new hybrid prototype to launch a factory four-car attack on the French classic endurance car.

Thomas Laudenbach, president of new Porsche Motorsport, has stressed that no decision has been made on bringing the branch of the new Porsche Penske Motorsport operation that will run the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to Le Mans in June.

Asked if that would be possible, Laudenbach told Motorsport.com: “It would be great, but I’m not sure if it would.

“If possible we will look into it; I personally would prefer to do it because it increases your chances.

“But we have to see how it might work, if the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the FIA [who jointly run the WEC] You will support him and if possible from a financial perspective.”

Jonathan Duguid, managing director of Penske Porsche Motorsport, was told the new process set up to direct dual attacks on WEC and the IMSA series would not choose “quantity over quality”.

“I think in 2023 you’ll see a focused approach: we want to focus on making sure we’re all ready and basically going there with two cars,” he explained.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and jump in three or four cars and weaken our approach.

“We need to make sure we treat this race with the respect it deserves and have a solid base to work from.”

Laudenbach explained that the final decision on how many cars Porsche-Pinske Motorsport will operate at Le Mans is probably a little far away.

Porsche LMDH

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

Diuguid revealed that PPM aims to head into 2023 with a “group of 10 drivers” for its WEC and IMSA campaigns.

The Porsche LMDH driver’s roster will consist of six regular drivers at WEC and four at IMSA.

He raised the possibility of drivers from the PPM WEC team attending some or all of the four long-distance races that make up the Michelin Endurance Cup division of the IMSA Series.

“It’s going to be based on calendars, and we’re going to look at it from a broad program perspective to see what makes sense,” he said.

“Daytona 24 Hours will be a great opportunity for WEC drivers to gain more experience with the program.”

It was also suggested that drivers from elsewhere in the Penske Institution could be brought into the IMSA group when third drivers were needed.

“There are options we’ve seen with Team Penske, as well as other IMSA teams, to bring in IndyCar drivers,” he explained.

Simon Pagenaud was part of Penske’s Acura DPi group for Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans in all three years of the program in 2018-20 when he was driving for the team at IndyCars.

So far, eight contract drivers from Porsche are understood to have sampled the LMDh since testing began in January.

In addition to Philippe Nasr and Dane Cameron, whom Porsche signed last year for the LMDh program, Frederic McCoy, Andre Lotterer, Kevin Esther, Michael Christensen, Lawrence Fanthor and Matthew Jamenet are believed to have tested the car.

Urs Koratl, Porsche’s LMDH project manager, explained that there was “no rush” to announce the full 2023 line-up.

“There are a number of good drivers in our squad already, so we are comfortable with the condition of the driver,” he said.

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