Porsche Completes Successful LMDh Test at Barcelona
Prototype Runs More than 1,200 Miles with Drivers Including Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Porsche Penske Motorsport continued making headway with its LMDh prototype set to debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, completing a successful test this week at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr were among the drivers who turned more than 1,200 miles in the Porsche LMDh set to race in Grand Touring Prototype (GTP), which will serve as the WeatherTech Championship’s most sophisticated and top-level class starting in 2023.
“These were my first laps in the LMDh car – a terrific experience,” said Nasr, who joined Porsche as a factory driver after winning the 2021 championship in the WeatherTech Championship’s top current class, Daytona Prototype international (DPi). “Although the car is brand new, we managed to cover a lot of kilometers (more than 2,000). That was great and shouldn’t be underestimated. … My impression of the vehicle is positive, and I’ll leave Barcelona with a smile.”
For Cameron, the 2019 DPi champion, it was a second opportunity to drive the Porsche LMDh, following a late January test at Porsche’s development center track in Weissach, Germany, where he first experienced the twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that will be used in concert with the hybrid elements to recoup and deliver electrical energy back to the race car.
“I climbed into the LMDh car for the first time several weeks ago in Weissach,” Cameron said. “That was primarily about functional tests. The progress that’s been made up to our first laps at Barcelona is impressive.
“During the test days, we made consistent progress,” Cameron added. “Each day we managed to cover more mileage and the performance improved noticeably. Of course, at this early development stage, it’s not about pushing to the very limit. On the contrary: 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.”
According to a Porsche news release, the Barcelona test’s focus was to “set up the car’s systems, develop the tires and optimize the interaction between the engine and the hybrid elements.” Mission accomplished, said Thomas Laudenbach, Porsche Motorsport vice president.
“The successful tests in Barcelona were an enormously important step,” Laudenbach said. “During our first laps on our test track in Weissach, it was critical to ensure that the basic functions of the LMDh prototype worked. In Spain, we saw the entire scope of development: endurance runs, setup work and, very importantly, the optimization of the interaction between all partners involved in this project. I found it very impressive how quickly the employees from Porsche, Penske, Michelin, Multimatic and others came together as a unit.”
Porsche Penske Motorsport will enter LMDh cars in both the WeatherTech Championship’s GTP class and the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class beginning in 2023. The 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona next January will mark the first competition for the LMDh cars. Other manufacturers such as Acura, BMW and Cadillac have also committed to developing LMDh cars to race in the WeatherTech Championship.
“We made great progress from day to day during these tests,” said Jonathan Diuguid, managing director at Porsche Penske Motorsport. “The feedback from the drivers, the engineers and the team was consistently positive. We’re the first to put an LMDh vehicle through its paces in test mode. This gives us the chance to systematically sort out every aspect over the coming weeks and months and to take on the competition in 2023 with the best possible preparation.”
Image and information taken from IMSA website.