The new Porsche LMP1 prototype has completed its first laps around the company’s Weissach test track in the lead up to next year’s World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Porsche’s head of the LMP1 project, Fritz Enzinger, revealed the prototype hit the circuit several weeks earlier than originally planned, with Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard responsible for guiding the black and white camouflaged racer through its initial function check.
“We are well on schedule,” Enzinger said. “Our newly formed team has worked with utmost concentration on getting this highly complex vehicle on the track as soon as possible. This allows us a few additional weeks for more testing and further development.
“From 2014, the regulations are primarily based on efficiency. This makes the competition amongst engineers more interesting and presents us with completely new challenges.”
The 2014 racer will end a five-year absence from the LMP1 category for the German sports car maker, which last competed in 2009.
Roughly 200 workers are responsible for the design, assembly and deployment of the LMP1 car, which Porsche hopes will take it to its 17th Le Mans victory.
Porsche AG chairman of the executive board Matthias Muller said future Porsche production car customers would benefit from the development of the high-tech racer.
“The engineers were able to start with a blank sheet of paper in the design of the new LMP1 car,” Muller said.
“Hence, they were able to apply many new technologies within the framework of the regulations that will also benefit the customers of our road cars in the future.”