Team Penske Will Run Porsche's Le Mans Prototype Return

Chris Perkins
·2 min read
Photo credit: Darrell Ingham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Darrell Ingham - Getty Images

It's been rumored for some time, and now, it's a reality. Porsche announced today that it's partnering with Team Penske for iits return to sports-prototype racing in the upcoming worldwide LMDh class. In other words, the greatest marque in sports cars is partnering with a motorsport powerhouse.

The new program is called Porsche Penske Motorsport, and will compete in both the IMSA WeatherTech series and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with two cars set to be entered into each series. Porsche also says it will sell cars to customer teams with these non-factory entries commencing as soon as 2023, the first year for the new LMDh class. LMDh was created out of a collaboration with IMSA and the ACO, the governing body of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. LMDh cars will use an LMP2 chassis provided by pre-approved constructors, with a 670-hp hybrid powertrain and bodywork from the entering manufacturer. Porsche is set to work with fellow Volkswagen Group brand Audi on the development of the car, though the two brands will eventually compete against one another. Porsche's LMDh cars will also compete against Le Mans Hypercars (LMH) built by Toyota, Peugeot, Ferrari, and more.

Porsche and Team Penske enjoyed a very successful partnership running the RS Spyder in the American Le Mans Series from 2006 to 2008, winning the LMP2 title every year. Team Penske also ran Porsches privately in the Seventies, notably the 917 to Can-Am dominance in 1972 and 1973.

Penske's record in motorsport is sterling, with championships in nearly every series it's entered over its 56-year history, and victories in many important races, including a record 18 Indy 500 wins. But while Team Penske has stood atop the podium at the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours, it has never won Le Mans. Roger Penske has very publicly stated that it's always been his goal to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now with Porsche, it appears the Captain has his best shot yet. Porsche is also looking to take its 20th overall victory at La Sarthe, a remarkable achievement in and of itself.

The Porsche LMDh car will have to compete with the aforementioned LMH cars, plus the LMDh entry from Audi, and possible entries from BMW, GM, McLaren, and Acura. Therefore, there's seemingly no easy path to victory here, but then again, this is Porsche and Penske. A partnership to give all rivals nightmares.

You Might Also Like