Porsche’s global GTP program brings parts supply challenges
Supporting customer GTP teams has presented Porsche with markedly different challenges than it’s been accustomed to with traditional GT3 customer outfits. Ongoing work to produce enough cars and spares as its three-car Le Mans effort looms only serves to add more complexity.
“It’s certainly a big difference because the car is much more complicated,” Urs Kuratle, Porsche Motorsports’ Director of Factory Racing explained. “As you can see, there is a lot of equipment and especially a lot of software to take care of. The customer support program is much more difficult than in a GT car. Certain things are the same, but to set up the support program and to bring the team up to speed — that’s a big focus.”
JDC-Miller Motorsports — Porsche’s newest partner — is entering this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round with hardly anything in reserve.
“What I hear is zero (spares),” driver Mike Rockenfeller explained. “Maybe we have a few, but honestly I feel there is not much, and I think Jota was in the same situation at Spa. You have to start going at a certain point, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, and in six months still saying, ‘Oh, there are no parts; we cannot race; we need more time.’ I think we just go and see what happens.”
Incidents in the opening round of the IMSA championship have placed the whole global operation on the back foot.
“As we are racing in both (IMSA and the WEC) in parallel, we have to have spare parts on both sides of the ocean and that’s a big effort. We need a lot, a lot, of spare parts,” Kuratle said. “In the first few races we had quite a lot of contact on track as well, so we lost quite a lot of bodywork and parts there. It’s a big effort for us to have it all up to speed.”
Kuratle told to RACER that the three Porsche 963 chassis that Porsche Penske Motorsports will use at Le Mans will be the two World Endurance Championship chassis combined with one from the IMSA side.