Porsche will partner with Team Penske to run a factory LMDh effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, the two parties have announced.
Under the Porsche Penske Motorsport banner, the American outfit will run Porsche’s LMDh prototype programme in European and North American competition under a multi-year deal starting in 2023.
As part of the deal, Porsche will operate a new base in the United States at Team Penske’s headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina.
“We are delighted that we were able to get Team Penske to form this partnership,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “For the first time in the history of Porsche Motorsport, our company will have a global team competing in the world’s two largest endurance series.
“To this end, we will be setting up team bases on both sides of the Atlantic. This will enable us to create the optimal structures we will need to take overall victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, for example.”
The deal marks a return of the partnership between the American team and the German manufacturer that goes back decades, dating back to the Penske-operated Can-Am machinery of the late 1970s.
Between 2006 and 2008, the pairing also scored three successive LMP2 titles in the American Le Mans Series with the open-topped RS Spyder prototype.
Porsche also confirmed that the yet-to-be-named LMDh prototype will be available to customer teams starting in 2023.
“As of 2023, Porsche will compete in the major endurance racing series. Our intention is to support and shape the new era with our LMDh prototypes,” adds Dr. Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development.
“Not only will we be keeping our fingers crossed for the four factory cars we have in total, but also for our customer teams.”
“The new LMDh vehicle will also be entered as a customer car in both series as early as the 2023 season. These partner teams will be given our full support.
“Whatever insights we gain from our factory effort will also be shared with them.”
The partnership with Porsche will see Team Penske return to top-level prototype racing for the first time since its IMSA partnership with Acura came to an end following the 2020 season.
“This is a proud day for our entire Penske organization,” said Roger Penske. “We have represented Porsche on the track or in our businesses for more than six decades. The heritage and success we have enjoyed together is unparalleled throughout our history.”
“I can’t wait to get started as we build a global racing program with Porsche that will compete for wins and championships well into the future.”