The Unreal Porsche 963 Is Already Taking Back The Top Spot Of Endurance Racing 

Names like the Porsche 956 to the Porsche 962 stick in peoples brains when they think about Porsche in Endurance Racing. The German Marque has been engraved in Le Mans and Endurance Racing history books since the 1970s. No one else has more victories at the 24-Hour race, no one else has been this close to perfection. After proving to be once again dominate and flawless with the 919 Hybrid, Porsche have waited for a new era to return and a new decade to show off another diligant machine. 

Porsche waited for the new era of regulation changes in the 1970s to reveal and use their ultimate 917. And now Porsche has waited until the new Hypercar Class to unveil this simple, yet purposeful race car that has already created a storm in the motorsport industry. The storm is yet to come though, because in 2023 when BMW, Peugeot, Ferrari, Cadillac, and-so-on, join with their new hyper race cars, each team is looking to win. And Porsche is willing and going to bring new ideas to the table, they will take the fight to the names that were once in command in Endurance racing history, and show them who wore the crown the most. Named the 963, it is said that it carries the legacy, and is the true successor to the ever-so-stunning and victorious 962 race cars from the 1990s. The new LMDh hybrid prototype will carry on the Porsche name with pride and power, as three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer will return to sports car racing next year to drive this Porsche and Penske project. 

Porsche Penske Motorsport factory team have partnered up to run this car in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023. Porsche and Team Penske will be the favorites coming up to Daytona in January, as they have come well-prepared and have noticeably more testing time than their fellow competitors. The German company spills and oozes out victories, counting 19 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, 18 Rolex 24 at Daytona wins, and winning the 12 Hours of Sebring a total of 18 times. This is not even counting four wins as an engine supplier. Porsche knows that them fighting for outright wins again means that right off the bat they have to be brutal, successful, and employ their stance. And to make their mark in this new era, they need the right set of people at its wheel. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday the 24th, Lotterer was announced along with a further five drivers who will race for the Porsche Penske Motorsport factory team. Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, Laurens Vanthoor, Mathieu Jaminet, and Andre Lotterer are the pilots that will bring this car to its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of January in 2023.

Porsche has not birthed championship challenging cars for both continents since the 911 GT1 from the late 90s. There have been a couple of concepts and projects springing into action, but a car that has fought for outright wins in both Europe and North American hasnt been into fruition since the Le Mans winning GT1. 

Its simple name pays tribute and homage to the 962 and 956 racers, as its livery and color also brings a retro look because it tips back to the 1970 Le Mans-winning 917k that was decked out in red. The 963 is constructed purposefully to the LMDh rules, meaning it’s matched up with an approved tub that is used in next-generation LMP2 cars. Engines dont have a set of constricting rules on them, they do not have to be derived from road cars necessarily. However, Porsche explained that the 963’s twin-turbocharged V8 is based off of their hybrid hypercar, the 918 Spyder. A car that you can trace roots all the way back to the 2008 RS Spyder LMP2 challenger that won Sebring with Team Penske. Its mid-mounted V8 partners up with a hybrid system firing up and working the rear wheels to export a peak output of 697 horsepower. Even though it was not driven flat-out, just by looking at it pull through on the Goodwood hill, you can immediately tell how swiftly the power comes through and how easily it transports the car. 

 The 963 not only creates a rise in people and brings nostalgic feelings into play, but its minimalist design also stuns and turns heads. From the red stripes that flow down to the elongated rear end, to the exhaust pipes that are split by that pinched in cockpit that flows into a fin and connects to the fixed wing. The huge slits that show off the front tires give its flat nose some dimension. And the rear tail light strip is what most cars will have as a stunning view at night, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona. 

To see historic companies like Porsche that have such rich history engraved in Endurance Racing fight for wins once again is heartwarming and tremendous. Heart, mind, and soul has been poured into this turn key race car, and to see it continuing the Porsche names that were once feared is a surreal moment that is making us hold our suspense. 

Published in IMSA

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Álvaro Martínez
1 year ago

This car is pretty exciting to both watch and see perform… I have hopes that Porsche will do it again once more.

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