Home Coming: The Porsche 963

One design, two racing series, three factory cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: With the Porsche 963 hybrid racer, Porsche returns to the top level of endurance racing. And continues to make history.

  • Text
    Marko Knab
  • Photos
    Porsche

Porsche is fielding a new prototype at Le Mans. There are few statements on this earth that carry such timeless validity. Newton’s laws of motion, perhaps. Though nobody can say for certain whether they really are valid everywhere in the universe. With Porsche, things are different. Because the sports prototype is the most original Porsche of all.

It’s no different with the Porsche 963. Developed for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the North American IMSA series, Porsche is again competing in top-tier racing on both sides of the Atlantic. It is tempting to say: Finally! In the case of the WEC, the comeback follows a six-year hiatus. The 963 was designed for the hypercar class that is recognized in both series, which in turn can be divided into LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) and LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid). Designed as an LMDh vehicle, the 963 uses an LMP2-based chassis manufactured by a supplier, is fitted with standardized Michelin tires and features spec hybrid components. The design, the combustion engine in the rear and the vehicle philosophy, on the other hand, are entirely up to the competitors.

Which also defines the goal of the Porsche 963: Overall victory number 20 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In spirit and in name, Porsche has let itself be inspired by the legendary 956 and 962 racing cars, which won at Le Mans six times in a row during Group C times. Chronologically speaking, the 963 follows the 919 Hybrid, which took home victories number 17, 18 and 19 in the endurance race. But there’s even more history inside this car. This is the third time that Porsche and Penske have teamed up together – and it’s the third time that a V8 engine with the designation 9RD has powered a Porsche. The last time these ingredients came together was in 2006, when the RS Spyder developed by Porsche and entered by Penske won everything there was to win in America.

→ Read these and other stories exclusively in ramp #61 & the Porsche Le Mans Special.

Marko Knab

Marko Knab

Journalist & Photographer
Life writes the best stories - and Marko Knab tells them in text and picture form. His focus: people & their very own stories and cars, motorsports and travel stories. He already worked for Motorsport-Total.com while completing his Bachelor's degree in German Language, followed by a brief stint at a local daily newspaper and a Master's degree in literature and cultural theory - and ramp.
ramp #61 Love Is in the Air + Porsche LeMans-Special

ramp #61 Love Is in the Air + Porsche LeMans-Special

Ein blauer Himmel, der Duft des frischen Grases, Sonne und die Wärme des Augenblicks, vor allem Licht. Das Licht der Sonnenstrahlen, erklären die Wissenschaftler, ist der entscheidende Faktor, wenn uns zu Beginn der warmen Jahreszeit ein flotter Gute-Laune-Mix aus Glückshormonen energisch in den Sommer lockt.

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