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Porsche Penske Eyeing Three-Car Le Mans Effort in 2024

Porsche Penske Motorsport waiting on ACO decision for third Hypercar entry at Le Mans in 2024…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche Penske Motorsport is hoping to again have three factory Porsche 963s on the grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year although it currently remains an “open point” with the FIA and ACO according to Porsche LMDh factory director Urs Kuratle.

The German manufacturer, which debuted its LMDh prototype in this year’s French endurance classic as a three-car operation, has ruled out the possibility of expanding to four works cars — split between its full-season FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship operations.

This is understood to be due to the number of available spaces on the 62-car grid, which will have more than 20 Hypercar class entries in 2024 amid the arrival of Alpine, BMW and Lamborghini to the top class that featured 16 cars this year.

“I don’t think [four] is in the cards and logistically, we’re still obliged to run the IMSA championship as well,” Porsche Penske managing director Jonathan Diuguid told Sportscar365. “We only have so many cars.”

Kuratle added: “Le Mans is a matter of how many entries the WEC would allow us to do. This is still an open point.

“If we are allowed to have three cars, this is certainly something we would consider to go with three cars to Le Mans.

“That’s a matter of the number of slots we’re allowed to have as a works team and how the exact ruleset is. We’re in talks with the WEC people about this but there’s still a long way to go.”

Kuratle said Porsche would be prepared for both scenarios, depending on the outcome.

“In Le Mans, in Daytona and all the big races, we’d like to increase the number of cars as much as you can,” he said.

“If you’re allowed to have three cars in Le Mans, if the ruleset allows that, it would be something we’d strongly consider to do.

“It’s not me to answer the question but I doubt there are so many spots on the grid next year. We have to see how many entries there are in the WEC.”

Tackling next year’s Le Mans with a U.S.-based crew will be made even more difficult given the WeatherTech Championship schedule, which sees Detroit placed one week prior to the test day and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen moved up to fall one week after the French endurance classic.

The timeline will rule out the possibility of teams utilizing the same chassis for all three races that month.

“It makes it tight after Le Mans,” Diuguid said. “I think all of us are pushing again for a third car there and the ACO is still trying to figure out what they’re going to be able to do with car counts and stuff like that.

“It makes everything tight but much like the rest of this year, we’ve been able to adapt and figure it out. I think Le Mans is a big push for our program.

“It’s going to be a busy time of the year. We executed an IMSA test on the Monday after Le Mans so we’ve dealt with some of those conflicts before and we’ll be able to do it.”

Porsche Penske Rules Out Additional Factory Entries for Rolex 24

The Roger Penske-led operation is facing a similar grid capacity situation for the WeatherTech Championship’s flagship race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which is set to have a 60-car sellout field next January.

Kuratle, however, indicated that Porsche Penske will focus on its two full-season entries in the Florida endurance classic, especially considering its LMDh car is due to receive reliability-related updates for 2024.

“It’s a budget thing and it’s very early in the year,” he said.

“That’s nice in many aspects but to have three cars on the grid there, with all of these re-homologated topics, having the right amount of spares ready [in January] would be a big task for us.

“We probably couldn’t handle that one [with more cars].”

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

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