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Porsche Barcelona LMDh Test “Enormously Important Step”

More than 1,200 miles completed in multi-day test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche has hailed the first test on an international circuit for its LMDh car as an “enormously important step” according to the manufacturer’s head of motorsport.

As revealed by Sportscar365 earlier this week, Porsche has begun proper track testing with its yet-to-be-named LMDh car following rollouts of the Multimatic-chassied prototype at its Weissach test track last month.

More than 1,200 miles were covered over a multi-day test this week at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which also saw Porsche’s 911 RSR-19 and new-for-2023 GT3 car also turn laps.

Newly signed Porsche Penske Motorsport drivers Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr were among the drivers on hand to sample the LMDh car.

“The successful tests in Barcelona were an enormously important step,” said Head of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach.

“During our first laps on our test track in Weissach, it was critical to ensure that the basic functions of the LMDh prototype worked.

“In Spain, we saw the entire scope of development: endurance runs, setup work and, very importantly, the optimization of the interaction between all partners involved in this project.

“I found it very impressive how quickly the employees from Porsche, Penske, Michelin, Multimatic and others came together as a unit. I’d like to thank everyone for the part they played.”

Unlike the initial shakedown, it’s understood all components of the LMDh-spec hybrid system were functional following supply chain delays that forced the car to run without the battery storage system from Williams Advanced Engineering in January.

“We completed the first tests on a ‘real’ race track and managed to more than double the previous mileage of the new Porsche LMDh to over 2,000 kilometers,” said Porsche factory motorsport LMDh director Urs Kuratle.

“This shows that we used the time after the planned but canceled tests very well for this intensive preparation. Including our partners, more than 70 people were at the track.

“From an organization viewpoint, that was another challenge. We’ve made major progress not only with the car but with the operational cooperation and processes within Porsche Penske Motorsport.

“But we still have a long way to go before we’re where we want to be.”

Testing in both Europe and North America is expected to ramp up in the coming weeks ahead of the car’s homologation this fall and its race debut in next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Cameron: “Impressive” Progress Since Weissach Tests

Newly signed Porsche LMDh factory driver Cameron, who got his first impressions of the V8 twin-turbo-powered prototype during a session in Weissach, said he was impressed with the steps made to the car since.

“The progress that’s been made up to our first laps at Barcelona is impressive,” he said. “During the test days, we made consistent progress.

“Each day we managed to cover more mileage and the performance improved noticeably.

“Of course, at this early development stage, it’s not about pushing to the very limit. On the contrary: our approach is very conservative.

“Based on this, my impression is extremely positive, because there is still an incredible amount of potential to further improve our new car.”

This week’s Barcelona test marked fellow works driver Nasr’s first laps in the car.

“Although the car is brand new, we managed to cover a lot of kilometers,” said the Brazilian. “That was great and shouldn’t be underestimated.

“We could even begin the setup work and tire tests.

“My impression of the vehicle is positive, and I’ll leave Barcelona with a smile.

“I was very much looking forward to these first runs. Now I got the chance to finally work with the Porsche Penske Motorsport team, take the wheel and step on the gas.

“It was a very special experience for me and makes me excited for everything to come in the future.”

Porsche LMDh, Barcelona (E) Test

Porsche LMDh, Barcelona (E) Test

Porsche LMDh, Barcelona (E) Test

Porsche LMDh, Barcelona (E) Test

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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