Porsche has carried out the first shakedown of its new LMDh car ahead of a track testing program that will lead to a race debut in 2023.
Factory driver Frederic Makowiecki drove the 500 kW hybrid prototype at Porsche’s Weissach test track, where the German manufacturer also rolled out its 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 car for the first time in 2013.
Porsche initially planned to shake down its publicly unnamed LMDh contender before the end of last year but ended up pushing the rollout date back to early January.
The Porsche LMDh has been developed in collaboration with Multimatic. Technical details of the powertrain beyond the spec hybrid system have not been revealed yet.
Makowiecki drove the car in a camouflage livery, but Porsche has for the first time revealed the car’s front end after omitting that part of the bodywork in studio photos.
Friday’s shakedown test was a milestone for both Porsche and the LMDh formula, as it marked the first rollout for any car built to the upcoming top-level regulations.
BMW, Acura, Audi, Cadillac and Alpine are also committed to the LMDh ruleset, which enables car brands to compete for overall wins at major races in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
LMDh cars will share top-category grids in both series with cars built to the LMH regulations designed by WEC and Le Mans organizer the ACO.
“We are very proud of this important step in the development process of our new WEC/IMSA contender for 2023,” commented Porsche Motorsport vice president Thomas Laudenbach.
“Thanks to everybody involved in Weissach and at Team Penske.”
Makowiecki added: “To be honest, it was a very positive roll-out. We could do some laps and discovered that the car is working as expected.
“Now we have a good starting point to go forward.”
#PorschePenskeMotorsport – The brand-new #Porsche LMDh prototype turned it’s first laps at Weissach with works driver @FredMako1 behind the wheel. How do you like our car for the 2023 @FIAWEC and @IMSA championships?#PorscheLMDh @Team_Penske @24hoursoflemans pic.twitter.com/HrVIqXTvMe
— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) January 14, 2022