V-8-powered Porsche LMDh hits the track ahead of 2023 SportsCar, World Endurance championships

Porsche on Thursday provided an early look at its sports prototype race car being developed for the new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) class that will serve as a top category for both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023.

Porsche will enter its LMDh racer in both the WEC and SportsCar championships, and plans to have it ready in time for the 2023 season, at which point there should be contenders from Audi, BMW and Cadillac also lining up on the grid. Alpine will join the party in 2024.

Teaser shots for the car show a design similar to Porsche’s successful 919 Hybrid sports prototype that competed in the former LMP1 class of the WEC. There are also design elements borrowed from Porsche’s road cars, such as the LED strip for the taillights and swan neck strut (center only) for the dual-plane rear wing.

Teaser for 2023 Porsche LMDh race car

Teaser for 2023 Porsche LMDh race car

In line with LMDh rules, Porsche is using a chassis sourced from Canada’s Multimatic, one of four firms supplying chassis for the class. The car needs to tip the scales at a minimum 1,030 kilograms (2,270 pounds), and its powertrain, a hybrid setup, can generate at any time a maximum output of around 670 hp.

The internal-combustion component has been confirmed as a big-cube twin-turbocharged V-8. Porsche said the engine is designed to run on renewable fuels, which means a significant reduction in C02 is possible.

Thomas Laudenbach, Porsche’s vice president of motorsport, said in a statement that the twin-turbo V-8 format was chosen for its combination of performance, weight and cost attributes.

Teaser for 2023 Porsche LMDh race car

Teaser for 2023 Porsche LMDh race car

Rules limit the engine to maximum revs of 10,000 rpm, max noise of 110 decibles, and minimum weight of 180 kilograms (397 pounds) with the intake, exhaust, cooling systems, and any forced induction systems included.

Porsche said the V-8 in its LMDh can generate anywhere between 643 and 697 hp to suit any Balance of Performance parameters. As mentioned above, the combined output of the engine and any electric drive system can only be about 670 hp, as measured at the half-shafts.

Porsche’s LMDh features a single motor-generator, thought to sit at the front axle. The motor-generator and related control electronics is supplied by Bosch, while the race car’s battery and transmission are supplied by Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac, respectively.

Teaser for 2023 Porsche LMDh race car

Teaser for 2023 Porsche LMDh race car

Porsche will run its LMDh campaign with America’s Team Penske, in both the WEC and SportsCar championships. The squad will be based out of Penske’s headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina, the same site where Penske oversees its IndyCar and NASCAR campaigns. The team will race under the banner Porsche Penske Motorsport, and the first confirmed drivers are successful SportsCar Championship drivers Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr.

Note, LMDh isn’t a replacement for the new LMH (Le Mans Hypercars) class which also serves as a top category of the WEC, and saw its first season in 2021. Balance of performance rules will help to level the playing field between the two classes. Automakers committed to LMH include Ferrari, Peugeot, Toyota and Glickenhaus.

Porsche’s LMDh racer will continue testing throughout 2022. The first LMDh race will be the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening round of the 2023 SportsCar Championship.

Source : Autonews.com

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