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HomeMotorsportsDespite strong Fuji performance: Porsche 963 gets updates for 2024

Despite strong Fuji performance: Porsche 963 gets updates for 2024

Porsche is working on reliability updates for its LMDh bolide in WEC and IMSA – First test drives have already taken place

The Porsche 963 will receive various reliability updates for the 2024 season. After several IMSA successes, the LMDh racer from Weissach finally achieved the long-awaited breakthrough in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with third place at Fuji. Nevertheless, Porsche Penske Motorsport will not be satisfied with the way the season has gone so far.

The nightmare hours on Saturday night at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans in particular have left a trauma that they are now looking to rectify with updates. However, the LMDh regulations place tight limits on what can be done.

While the LMH regulations allow up to five “evo jokers”, only certain components may be re-homologated on prototypes according to LMDh regulations under certain circumstances. Based on the experience with eight vehicles in the current season – four in factory and four in customer hands – Porsche now wants to revise the bolide within this framework.

Urs Kuratle, Head of Works Motorsport LMDh at Porsche, tells ‘Sportscar365’: “What can we do? We can homologate new things within the regulations we have. Outside that window we can improve the software and the set-up.”

“We need to understand our car and our package much better to catch up. But we are not yet where we want to be. We are on the right track, but there is still a long way to go. We know what we can do. We want to use the window. We have those opportunities and of course we will use them.”

The components have already been tested at a test at Spa-Francorchamps. WRT with the BMW M Hybrid V8 and the RMG team with the new BMW M4 GT3 Evo also tested there. Lamborghini was also supposed to take part in the tests, but had to cancel after Mirko Bortolotti’s serious accident at Le Castellet.

No visible updates

Kuratle admits that drivability is one of the biggest problems. It is difficult enough to get a grip on this problem. There are also lingering problems with the hybrid system – the worst LMDh ailment since the programme began in early 2022.

“Reliability is the most important thing we are working on. There are reliability issues with the MGU. We are working on that with the hybrid partners. But we also have problems with the car, as you saw at Le Mans and at some other races. We need to catch up with the competition in those areas.”

“It’s not about performance, it’s about reliability. That’s exactly the window in which you can homologate. That’s what we need to work on,” said Kurtle, who talks of “significant” updates in terms of reliability.

Optically, there will be no changes. “It’s not something that the fans or the people at the track see. We’re not doing big things to the aerodynamics. It’s mechanical things. Reliability is the key.”

“We’re not planning a big bodywork update or anything like that because the car is homologated within the aerodynamics window and that’s where it has to stay. Those are not our weak points either. We have things like power steering and reliability issues like that.” So for the big battle with ten manufacturers at Le Mans 2024, the updates are welcome.

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