Porsche tackles the 2023 motorsport season with ambitious goals, extensive works commitments and new options for customer racing. In the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the North American IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team pursues overall wins with two 963 hybrid prototypes fielded in each series. In the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team has set its sights on claiming the title with the new 99X Electric Gen3. Many Porsche customer teams will race the 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 R on GT stages worldwide. Porsche announced its 2023 motorsport programme on Saturday evening at the “Night of Champions” in Weissach.
Porsche sets a course for the upcoming motor racing season with three newly-developed racing cars and a vision of a future electrically-powered one-make cup vehicle. The Porsche 963 hybrid prototype, the Formula E Porsche 99X Electric Gen 3 racer and the GT4 e-Performance experimental car rely on electric or fully-electric drive concepts. The 2023 agenda is rounded off by a long-term expansion of customer racing activities, among others, with the new 911 GT3 R, and also an extensive factory commitment in the esports sector. “Motorsport has always been extremely important for Porsche and an integral part of the brand’s DNA. We use it as a development platform for future technologies and to showcase the potential of our sports cars. We want to continue pursuing this,” declares Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development.
“Sustainability and electrification are hugely important for a sports car manufacturer like Porsche. Our motorsport activities reflect this,” added Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “The new GT4 e-Performance is an example. The highly innovative prototype represents our vision of a 100% electrically-powered customer sport racing vehicle. We’re competing in Formula E with the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, and the new 963 features hybrid technology. During the 2023 season, the 911 GT3 Cup vehicles in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup are scheduled to switch to eFuels from the pilot facility of our partner HIF Global in Chile. This shows that we’re making big progress towards sustainability in motor racing, as. There’s more to come.”
New works team fights for overall victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring
Under the name Porsche Penske Motorsport, the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer joins forces with the successful American racing outfit Team Penske to field a pair of Porsche 963 and fight for overall wins in the two largest endurance series. The ca. 500 kW (680 PS) hybrid racing prototype has been extensively tested and developed over the last eleven months. The works drivers involved covered a total of 29,713.8 kilometres. The 963 will celebrate its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in late January. The endurance classic marks the start of the IMSA championship season. Over the year, the new works team will also contest the highlights at Sebring and the Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta in North America.
In addition to securing the world title in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche Penske Motorsport has set its sights on another big goal: In June, the squad aims to clinch the 20th overall victory for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 963. Apart from the French classic, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023, the FIA WEC will be contested in Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Bahrain and the USA. Ten works drivers from the Porsche Motorsport squad will share driving duties in the four 963 cockpits in the World Endurance Championship and the North American IMSA championship. The Porsche Penske Motorsport team operates out of two locations: The branch in Mannheim (Germany) is responsible for the FIA WEC, with the IMSA vehicles prepared in Mooresville, North Carolina (USA). In its maiden season, the new Porsche 963 will also be available for customers to compete in both endurance series. The confirmed teams are JDC Miller MotorSports (IMSA) as well as Jota Sport and Proton Competition (both WEC).
Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh: “We were immediately impressed by the new regulations that have been introduced in the World Endurance Championship and the North American IMSA series. We were among the first manufacturers to commit to this in December 2020. Establishing the globally-operating Porsche Penske Motorsport was another important milestone. Porsche and Penske have a very successful shared history. We now want to build on that together.”
Porsche aims to fight for the Formula E World Championship title
Porsche heads into a new Formula E era with the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. Developed in Weissach, the electric racing car celebrates its race debut on 14 January at the Mexico City E-Prix – the opening round of season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The 99X Electric Gen3, with which Porsche aims to win races and claim podium places, also serves as a development platform for the sports car manufacturer’s fully-electric production models.
The third generation (Gen3) vehicles fielded in season 9 are the fastest, lightest, most powerful and most efficient electric racing cars ever built. The maximum output of the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3 is 350 kW (476 PS), which is 100 kW more than the predecessor generation (Gen2). At least 40 percent of the energy used is recuperated via regenerative braking. Featuring two powertrains at the front and rear, the electric motor achieves about 95 percent power efficiency compared to around 40 percent for the best internal combustion engines.
“The new Gen3 cars represent a technological milestone in all-electric racing,” says Florian Modlinger, Director Factory Motorsport Formula E. “They could make the races even more spectacular for spectators and give the popularity of Formula E worldwide even more of a boost.”
For its fourth Formula E season, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team fields two Porsche 99X Electric Gen3. Avalanche Andretti also runs two 99X Electric Gen3 cars as the first Porsche customer team in Formula E. Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric racing series bringing thrilling motorsport to people living in major cities since 2014.
With the all-electric Taycan Turbo S, Porsche again supplies the official safety car in season 9. The paintwork incorporates the colours of all eleven teams as well as those of the FIA and Formula E – symbolising the joint commitment to the future of all-electric motor racing as well as social values such as diversity and community.
2023 works squad: Top lineup in all disciplines
With the launch of the 963 era in endurance racing, Porsche has redistributed its works driver crews. The most notable changes include the return of Nick Tandy after a two-year break. For 2023, the 38-year-old from Bedford, England, shares the No. 6 Porsche with Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet in the IMSA series. At the 24 Hours of Daytona, the pair receives support from Dane Cameron (USA). The second LMDh prototype (No. 7) in the North American championship is helmed by Matt Campbell (Australia) and Felipe Nasr (Brazil) with Michael Christensen (Denmark) as the third driver at Daytona.
Three works drivers will share the cockpits of the two Porsche 963 in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. The No. 5 car has been reserved for Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen and Frédéric Makowiecki (France), with the No. 6 sister car designated to Kévin Estre (France), André Lotterer (Germany) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), Romain Dumas (France), Richard Lietz and Thomas Preining (both Austria) are also part of the 2023 factory driver contingent. The detailed schedules for the drivers are currently being finalised.
Customer racing: New Porsche 911 GT3 R celebrates its race debut at Daytona
A newly developed vehicle will be available to Porsche’s many customer teams for GT3 racing from 2023: the 911 GT3 R based on the 992-generation 911. Pfaff Motorsports and others will field the up to 416 kW (565 PS) racing car at its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona on 28-29 January. The reigning IMSA champions of the GTD-Pro class aim to defend their title with Porsche’s contractual drivers Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Patrick Pilet (France). They receive reinforcement at Daytona from works driver Laurens Vanthoor. Works driver colleague Kévin Estre takes the wheel of the new 911 GT3 R run by Wright Motorsport. Porsche currently expects that six of the new Porsche GT3 racing cars will line up on the grid of the GTD class alone at the season-opening round of the IMSA series.
In Germany, the new GT3 racing car will contest the DTM as well as the newly structured DTM Endurance, formerly known as the ADAC GT Masters. Like last season, Thomas Preining and Dennis Olsen (Denmark) are scheduled to return to the DTM to drive the new 911 GT3 R. More may be added. Given that the teams and drivers have not yet confirmed their participation, exact details for 2023 cannot yet be specified.
Porsche also plans to send drivers to contest the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Currently, the potential drivers are Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre, Frédéric Makowiecki, Nick Tandy and Thomas Preining as well as the former Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven (Turkey).
In the 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge and the Asian Le Mans Series, customer teams can count on the same support from Porsche as last year. This also applies to the GTE-Am class of the FIA WEC and the European Le Mans Series, in which the 911 RSR is still eligible to compete. In the diverse GT4 racing series and classes, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, which was introduced last year, has established itself as a top contender worldwide. In Germany, this vehicle is fielded in the ADAC GT4 Germany, among others.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Supporting Formula 1 until at least 2030
Porsche and the Formula One World Championship™ have extended their collaboration for a record eight years until the end of 2030. This means that the Porsche Supercup will have been part of the support programme at selected Grands Prix for almost four decades. In 2023, the international one-make cup will again run as support to eight European Formula 1 events. The 31st Supercup season kicks off in May as a support race to the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DEL MADE IN ITALY E DELL’EMILIA-ROMAGNA, with the finale held in Monza at the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA in September.
The latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup based on the 992-generation 911 will continue to be fielded. The Supercup racing cars have been running on bio-based fuels since 2021. During the upcoming season, the cars are scheduled to switch to eFuels from the pilot facility of Porsche’s partner HIF Global in Chile. The 375 kW (510 PS) vehicles are campaigned in more than 30 national and regional Porsche Carrera Cups and Porsche Sprint Challenges as well as in many other competitions such as the Nürburgring Endurance Series. Demand for the 911 GT3 Cup remains high. At the end of November, the 5,000th Cup car based on the production model 911 rolled off the production line in Zuffenhausen – making this model family one of the most widely produced racing cars in the world.
Junior development: Promotion for Heinrich, Buus the new Porsche Junior
Bastian Buus from Denmark is the 2023 Porsche Junior. In November, the 19-year-old Dane impressed the panel during a selection process involving twelve candidates. He now receives comprehensive support from Porsche Motorsport. His 2022 predecessor Laurin Heinrich has been promoted: After winning the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, the German has now joined Porsche’s pool of contract drivers.
Electric prototype for future customer sport: Porsche GT4 e-Performance
With the all-electric GT4 e-Performance, Porsche demonstrates how sustainable customer motor racing can work and inspire in the future. The prototype features technological components from the Mission R concept study. In simulated race conditions, 450 kW (612 PS) are available for 30 minutes, which is the duration of a Carrera Cup race. A maximum of 800 kW (1,088 PS) is possible. In terms of lap times and top speed, the 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is on par with the performance of the current 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup.
After its premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the GT4 e-Performance will travel to other international destinations. Next on the tour is the GP Ice Race from 27 to 29 January 2023 in Zell am See, Austria. Until 2024, other destinations in Europe, North America and Asia may follow. In line with the sustainability strategy of the entire “race2zero” project, Porsche strives towards logistically optimised transportation entirely by ship, train and truck.
Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team: new sim racing factory squad
Porsche Motorsport has also entered its own works team and drivers in the digital world of esports. The squad currently includes the sim racing experts Josh Rogers (Australia), Mack Bakkum (Netherlands), Mitchell deJong (USA) and Tommy Østgaard (Norway). All four are established professionals and compete for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team from Gronau in Münsterland. The team has big plans for 2023. On 14/15 January, the 24-hour race will be contested as the final round of the Le Mans Virtual Series (LMVS). The next LMVS season begins in September and includes five endurance events.
Porsche Cup: Private driver Ralf Bohn wins the coveted trophy
The 2022 Porsche Cup goes to Ralf Bohn. This time-honoured trophy is based on the idea of Ferry Porsche and has been presented annually to successful amateur drivers since 1970. During the past season, Bohn notched up numerous successes in different series, predominantly with Robert and Alfred Renauer in the Herberth Motorsport team. The trio wrapped up the Asian Le Mans Series with second place in the GT class and also achieved third in the gold category of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup. The German receives the coveted trophy and prize money totalling 150,000 Euros to order a new Porsche vehicle of his choice.