All-New Porsche 963 to Spearhead Stuttgart’s Latest Sportscar Foray
Porsche trotted out its next Le Mans, World Sportscar and IMSA challenger at the weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car will take Porsche to war with Toyota, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, Alpine Renault, Cadillac, Peugeot Acura-Honda and Glickenhaus in a thrilling new world sportscar racing era. The 963 tag is a nod to its ‘80s 956 and 962 predecessors, its war colours hark back to a ‘70s 917 livery and the project follows four years on from its last 919 effort.
963 Chasing Porsche’s 20th Win 100th Le Mans
The new 963 sports prototype will chase Porsche’s record-extending 20th overall Le Mans 24 Hours victory. That will start from next year’s epic centenary 24 Hours. Run in alliance with US motorsport giant Penske, the car is likely to make its competition debut at later this year. Before commencing a double championship tilt at the Daytona 24 Hours next January.
Built to IMSA’s new for ’23 LMDh rule set, which will also be adopted by the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans, the 963 is based on a Canadian Multimatic LMP2 chassis powered by a hybrid driveline. It comprises a 4.6-litre Porsche biturbo V8 mated to a control specification LMDh hybrid system. That is built by Bosch in conjunction with Williams Advanced Engineering and race transmission experts Xtrac.
Porsche V8 Turbo and LMDh Spec Hybrid
The 963 V8 is based on the 918 Spyder engine. That dates back to Porsche’s LMP2 RS Spyder, which Penske so successfully raced in the US from 2005 to ’08. Four Penske-run factory cars will be driven by an army of drivers across the twin WEC and IMSA championships. They include 3-time Le Mans winner André Lotterer, Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor. Plus Aussie Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, and IMSA pros Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr.
Porsche is confident of a strong first year. “The 963 should continue the legacy of Porsches legends, 917, 936, 956, 962 and the 919,” Porsche vice-president Thomas Laudenbach admitted. “I’m positive that we’ll be well positioned when it comes to technology. “We have also created the team structures to set us up to win against many thrilling rival manufacturers and different concepts.”
Four Car Works Effort Plus Privateers
Four 963s will be built to run the Penske Porsche Motorsport factory effort across both series. British squad Jota already confirmed as a WEC privateer and JDM Miller as an IMSA customer team. Further independent teams are still to be confirmed. Penske ran an LMP2 ORECA-Gibson in a 2022 Le Mans dry run earlier this month. Cameron, Nasr and Emmanuel Collard finished fifth in class in Penske’s first Le Mans since 1971.
“The Porsche Penske Team has grown into an efficient and committed squad,” Porsche LMDh boss Urs Kuratle concludes. “We will have powerful driver crews in four factory cars. “Our collaboration with tyre partner Michelin and our chassis manufacturer Multimatic works flawlessly. “The Porsche 963 should be homologated this autumn. “We can hardly wait for our first outing!”