Connect with us


Porsche Unlikely to Introduce New 963 Crankshaft

Porsche set to remain with current flat-plane crank unless faced with issues at Le Mans…

Photo: Juergen Tap/Porsche

Porsche will scrub plans to introduce a new 90-degree crankshaft for its 963 prototype unless it faces unexpected reliability issues in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans according to the manufacturer’s LMDh factory director Urs Kuratle.

The German brand had been plotting a switch from the car’s current flat-plane crank on its V8 twin-turbo powered engine due to vibration-related issues that affected the LMDh spec hybrid powertrain unit in its first seasons of competition in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

However, updates to the Bosch-supplied MGU for this year has led to an overall improvement in reliability following the opening races of both championships, highlighted by victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and ten-hour WEC enduro in Qatar.

“If all the 963s go through Le Mans without having any problem we can relate on vibrational thing or a crankshaft thing, then we will not introduce it,” Kuratle told reporters following Sunday’s Le Mans test day, where Porsche topped the time sheets.

Kuratle revealed that a move to a 90-degree crank, which had been under development, would result in a significant cost considering it would need to update the engines for all 963s currently competing worldwide, per LMDh regulations.

While there will be six 963s represented on the grid at Le Mans this year, an additional four compete full-time in the WeatherTech Championship, split between Porsche Penske Motorsport and customer squads Proton Competition and JDC-Miller Motorsports.

“Even more to be really honest, it’s even more [about] the money,” Kuratle said.

“We need to have a good reason [to change it] because it would cost us a lot of money because we’d have to update all of the customer cars as well. That’s really a question.

“It’s something we do not expect to happen [unless] something happens here.

“The reliability of the 963 in general has improved a lot. So that does not seem to be an issue anymore.

“If that’s the case, and the milestone will be the Le Mans race, which will be the second 24-hour race, we hope, we do without any problems.”

Kuratle added: “The more cars you have to supply, the more cars you have to make revisions on certain parts and whatsoever, the more complicated it is.

“However, Porsche decided to go that way and what we saw in Spa as well, with the victory from JOTA, I think it proves that it’s a good thing for the sport and people to see that you can have customer car on the same level winning the big [races].”

Porsche Not Ruling Out Future EVO Jokers for 963

Despite unlikely introducing the engine overhaul, Kuratle said that other updates could be in the pipeline for the future which would necessitate so-called EVO jokers.

“We’ve started to think about it already,” he said. “What does the Porsche 963 need to be more competitive? What makes sense? Those are the discussions we’re having internally.

“Then there’s the normal process that we have to get in contact with the FIA/ACO and decide whether that is an EVO joker or not.”

When asked if it would be tougher to have EVO jokers granted to the car if it continues its winning form, Kuratle pointed out the FIA, ACO and IMSA’s performance window targets that could come into play.

“Remember Qatar is a very good track for the 963,” he explained. “There are other tracks that don’t suit us as good as Qatar.

“If you have more balanced performing car for all the tracks, that would help.

“Also for the governance bodies, it’s much easier to have… If all the cars would perform on every track the same, it would be much easier to balance them.

“If we try to achieve this, that’s would also be a performance joker because it has something to do with performance.”

Jamie Klein contributed to this report

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

Click to comment

More in IMSA/WEC