It has been long awaited, but here it is at last! The Porsche 963, the Hypercar that the German marque will field in the 2023 FIA WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has been unveiled with its race livery. It sports Porsche’s usual motor racing colours of white, red and black.
At the wheel of these 680 hp Hypercars, there will be a crew of seasoned prototype racers and Porsche factory racers. They are Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor, Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr. Frédéric Makowiecki has played a key role in developing the car as he was at the wheel of the 963 during its shakedown on the Weissach circuit last January. Other experienced drivers will complete the line-ups for endurance races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans (Road Atlanta).
“After 7,889 test kilometres during the first half of 2022, we’re on a very good path but there is still work to be done before the start of next season,” points out Porsche Motorsport Vice-President Thomas Laudenbach. “Our new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of legendary models such as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and the 919 Hybrid. I’m positive that we’ll be well positioned when it comes to technology and we’ve also created the relevant team structures to set us up for wins in the thrilling competition between many manufacturers and different concepts.”
Porsche has its eye on the 8 Hours of Bahrain
The Porsche 963 will make its official race debut in January 2023 at the 24 Hours of Daytona. In the meantime, the FIA WEC is accepting cars for testing at upcoming rounds of the championship. Porsche Penske Motorsport thus intends to run through a dress rehearsal at the final race of the season at Bahrain in November.
“Over the past few months, our people at Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske have grown into an efficient and committed squad – the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team,” enthuses Urs Kuratle, director of the Hypercar programme. “We’ll have powerful driver crews in the four factory cars. The collaboration with our long-standing tyre partner Michelin and the chassis manufacturer Multimatic works flawlessly. The Porsche 963 should be homologated this autumn. Until then, we want to make further progress with test drives and gain additional insights.”
The Porsche 963, successor to the 956 and 962
The new car’s genes can be traced back to the RS Spyder, with which Porsche and Team Penske claimed a series of wins between 2005 and 2008. The design of the new Porsche 963 takes its inspiration from the victorious 956 and 962 of the 1980s. The continuous light strip to the rear mirrors the distinctive feature found on the latest 992-generation 911. And tradition is upheld as the Porsche 963 will be available to customer teams from its first year of competition. The teams concerned will make their own announcements in the next few days.
Until we see the car out on the track, admire the images of the Porsche 963 in the photo gallery below.