We have some good news for Porsche motorsports fans. The automaker has announced its return to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance, competing in the new hypercar class. Don't be too excited though. The German marque won't be racing in the field next year. Instead, they will be fielding their upcoming LMDh prototype in 2023, chasing after their 20th Le Man victory.
Porsche last competed in Le Mans in 2017 with the 1,000 horsepower LMP1 919 Hybrid. It served as a fitting farewell too, with the automaker claiming the race win. With their departure from Le Mans and WEC, Toyota remained as the lone factory team competing in the top class of the endurance race. But with Porsche set to return in 2023, Toyota will have some very tough competition ahead of them.
“The new LMDh category allows us to fight for overall victories with a hybrid system at the Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring classics – without breaking the bank. The project is extremely attractive for Porsche. Endurance racing is part of our brand’s DNA,” said Oliver Blume, CEO at Porsche AG.
Porsche has yet to reveal their LMDh challenger in full but did give sketches on what it might look like once complete. The company adds that the car will be based on an upgraded LMP2 chassis while the hybrid system, including control electronics, will be standardized. It will tip the scales at around 1,000 kg and produce around 680 horsepower.
With Porsche set to return to Le Mans, the question now will other automakers follow in its footsteps? Audi has already confirmed its return to the 24-hour endurance race during its announcement of the 2022 Dakar Rally entry. It would certainly be nice to see more manufacturers competing once more at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans.