Porsche Penske Motorsport’s pair of FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Porsche 963s will officially hit the track for the first time this weekend as The Prologue – the pre-season test – gets underway at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, USA and the newly-formed team is prepared to put months of planning into practice.
The 44-strong team that represents 10 nationalities will travel from Porsche Penske Motorsport’s European base in Mannheim, Germany to begin its global campaign. The WEC project was announced by Porsche in December 2020, following the release of the LMDh technical specifications, which allow convergence with the world’s two largest sportscar series: WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship (IWSC).
Three days of testing in Portugal
While Porsche Penske Motorsport‘s IWSC team based in Mooresville, North Carolina has already contested its first race - the 24 Hours of Daytona - the WEC squad only rolled out its pair of Porsche 963s three weeks ago at Porsche’s test track in Weissach, Germany. The following week, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal was filled with the sound of the two twin-turbo V8 engines for three days of testing, which included wet and dry running, along with day and night conditions.
Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport said, "We arrive at The Prologue in Sebring with two brand new Porsche 963 – they have completed a small rollout in Weissach, followed by a three-day test in Portimão – where we remained for two further days of car preparation. The wet weather conditions on day one gave us some good data for the upcoming WEC season – we are sure to see rain at Spa, Le Mans and Fuji – but it hampered our Sebring preparation somewhat. These two days at The Prologue will therefore be extremely valuable."
"Aside from the challenges that come with developing and testing two new cars, we are also a brand new team and a team can only really gel together under track conditions," continued Diuguid. "We have established many new processes and procedures so these two days of The Prologue will really enable us to put them into practice ahead of the 1000 Miles of Sebring next week."
The Prologue takes place on Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12 and includes 12.5 hours of running at the historic Sebring International Raceway.