New Porsche LMDh car completes over 2000km in first major test

New Porsche signings Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron were among the drivers to get behind the wheel of the car that will take the German manufacturer back to top-flight sportscar racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.

The distance covered in Spain more than doubled the number of kilometres that have now been put on the LMDh hybrid, which began running at Porsche’s Weissach test facility last month.

Porsche has not stated which other drivers joined Nasr and Cameron, who were signed last year to lead development of the LMDh, at the multi-day Barcelona test.

Two-time overall IMSA champion Cameron, who also drove the car at Weissach, explained that the Porsche made “consistent progress” through the Barcelona test.

“Each day we managed to cover more mileage and the performance improved noticeably,” he said.

“Of course, at this early development stage, it’s not about pushing to the very limit — our approach is very conservative.

“Based on this, my impression is extremely positive, because there is still an incredible amount of potential to further improve our new car.”

Fellow double IMSA champion Nasr, who got his first taste of the car in Spain, added: “Although the car is brand new, we managed to cover a lot of kilometres. That was great and shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Porsche LMDh

Porsche LMDh

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

Urs Kuratle, director of the LMDh project at Porsche, expressed satisfaction with the Barcelona run and suggested that the manufacturer is making up for the time lost to a delay in the start of the test programme caused by supply-chain issues.

He said the distance covered in Spain “shows that we used the time after the planned but cancelled tests very well”.

Jonathan Diuguid, managing director of the Porsche Penske Motorsport squad that will field the car in both the WEC and IMSA, added that the car made “great progress from day to day” in Barcelona.

The latest test was described as “an enormously important step” by Porsche Motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach.

“During our first laps on our test track in Weissach, it was critical to ensure that the basic functions of the LMDh prototype worked,” he said.

“In Spain, we saw the entire scope of development: endurance runs, set-up work and, very importantly, the optimisation of the interaction between all partners involved in this project.”

Laudenbach explained that he found it “very impressive” how the key players in the project worked together at a test at which more than 70 personnel were present from Porsche, Penske and Multimatic, as well as tyre supplier Michelin.

Porsche, which released further photos of the as-yet-unnamed LMDh running in camouflage from Barcelona, will continue development of the car in Europe and North America.

Its latest statement revealed that the LMDh will be homologated as early as the autumn ahead of its race debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona IMSA season-opener next January.

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Porsche LMDh

Porsche LMDh

Photo by: Porsche Motorsport

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