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Porsche LMDh Rollout Pushed Back to January

Porsche LMDh rollout pushed back slightly; “intensive” testing program still in place…

Image: Porsche

Porsche has pushed back the rollout of its LMDh car to January after initially planning to run the Multimatic-based prototype for the first time this month.

The German manufacturer confirmed in a social media post on Tuesday that it has deferred preliminary testing until after New Year amid a “tight” development schedule in preparation for the car’s 2023 race debut.

Porsche stated back in March that its target was to perform an LMDh rollout before the end of this year, while it reaffirmed that plan at the start of last month.

“We are facing enormous challenges due to the tight schedule of the LMDh program,” read Tuesday’s statement.

“As a result, the rollout of the #Porsche LMDh will not be able to take place until early January 2022. The intensive test program will not be affected by this.”

As recently as last Saturday, Porsche’s LMDh car was apparently on course for a 2021 rollout, according to a pre-recorded interview with program manager Urs Kuratle.

During the interview, Kuratle indicated that the first test was “taking place as scheduled” before the end of the year, but he also acknowledged that delays could easily occur.

“We do in fact alter the plan when the situation demands, but right now we’re in a very critical phase,” he said.

“After the Christmas break, we’ll probably do a brief shakedown in Weissach, and then our very ambitious test program begins.

“We’re testing in Europe and North America – approval has to be met, and there are many other deadlines to be met. It most certainly won’t be boring next year.”

Porsche revealed the first photographs of its 500 kW spec-hybrid prototype during last weekend’s Night of Champions ceremony. It also confirmed IMSA champions Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr as the first two driver signings for the program.

The car will be run by the Porsche Penske Motorsport factory squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Porsche is also planning to sell LMDh cars to customer teams for the first year of competition in 2023.  

“The customer teams have always meant a lot to Porsche,” said Kuratle.

“That is shown by the fact that we consciously decided right off the bat to sell the cars to customer teams, and we work very closely together with customer teams to achieve the best performance with them as well.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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