The three Porsche 963 fielded by Porsche Penske Motorsport at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will be decked out in a distinctive design. However, the fundamental look of the 963 will stay the same. The colourful designs were unveiled today (Friday, 28 April) as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC race weekend in Belgium. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Porsche brand, the No. 75 vehicle will tackle the Hypercar class at the 100th anniversary of the 24-hour race as an additional entry from the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer.
Porsche presents its three LMDh hybrid prototypes at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans sporting an exclusive design. Fifteen stripes in seven different colours, which flow from the front and flare out at the rear of the Porsche 963, represent the core design element. To differentiate between the three racing cars, fins on each engine hood have different colours: black for the No. 5 car, white for the No. 6 and red for the third No. 75 Le Mans racer. Porsche unveiled the special foil wrap on the eve of the Le Mans dress rehearsal at the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
“This year, we are celebrating 75 years of Porsche sports cars. Motorsport, and endurance racing in particular, is a core element of our Porsche DNA. Therefore, the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours also has a special significance for the Porsche brand as well,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board, Sales and Marketing. “The colour scheme of the three works race cars connects both anniversaries. Every colour on the Porsche 963s has its own Le Mans history. And we are very proud of every single one of them.”
“In Le Mans, our three Porsche 963 will be truly eye-catching at the 75th anniversary of our brand and the 100th anniversary of the 24-hour race. I do not doubt that this design will immediately win the hearts of fans,” says a delighted Thomas Laudenbach. “We embraced the vehicle designs from Porsche’s rich and illustrious history at Le Mans,” adds the Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “The 917 as a pink “pig” and the “hippie car” from 1970 – these liveries have made racing history and are still popular today. With our special design on the three Porsche 963, we’re continuing this great tradition at Le Mans.”
On the exterior, the designers used the colour orange. This is a salute to the legendary Gulf design of the Porsche 917 from the 1970s. The pink stripe acknowledges the “pig” – the celebrated Porsche 917 from 1971. This paintwork was revisited in 2018 on the Porsche 911 RSR, which went on to win the GTE-Pro class at Le Mans. Also featured is the green and light blue of the 917 from 1970, fondly known as the “Hippie”, as well as the iconic Martini design which was painted on the Porsche 936, among others, at its outright Le Mans victory in 1977. The dark blue is a nod to the Rothmans’ paintwork on the Porsche 956 from 1982 and 1983, next to it, a vivid red commemorating the Salzburg-Porsche 917 – the first overall winner from Stuttgart from the year 1970. A yellow stripe in the middle completes the design. In combination with the red, it pays tribute to the Porsche RS Spyder, with which the Penske team scooped the title pool in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) from 2006 to 2008.
“The Porsche 963 has a very long wheelbase – so we had to play with the proportions a bit,” explains Stephane Lenglin. The Designer Exterieur Style Porsche adds: “The lines of colour fanning out to the rear lend beautiful dynamics and harmonious proportions. Working on this design was a lot of fun. We played with many different colour combinations and finally settled on seven colour schemes that allow an immediately recognisable look into Porsche’s long and illustrious history and the special Le Mans liveries. I’m sure that the cars will be well received by the fans.”
The No. 5 Porsche 963 line-up for Le Mans includes the permanent drivers from the FIA WEC, Dane Cameron (USA), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark). Sharing driving duties in the No. 6 sister car are the WEC drivers André Lotterer from Germany, Kévin Estre from France and Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium. Felipe Nasr (Brazil), Nick Tandy (United Kingdom) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) share the No. 75 cockpit.
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