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Porsche set for Le Mans return

German sports car maker commits to new endurance racing regulations.
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Porsche has confirmed it will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2023.

The German manufacturer will contest the series under the new LMDh regulations, eschewing the much-vaunted hypercar category that has already attracted entries from Toyota and Peugeot.

The new LMDh category – essentially a replacement for the WEC’s existing LMP2 category – allows for hybrid drivetrain and bodystyle freedoms which must be married to a spec chassis from one of four suppliers.

The confirmation will see Porsche return to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since 2017, a race it has dominated with 19 outright victories.

The new LMDh regulations will also form the basis of endurance racing in the United States, the IMSA SportsCar Championship adopting the FIA rules.

Porsche will also contest that series which will see the manufacturer return to the marquee 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring events.

“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,” said Porsche CEO, Oliver Blume. “The project is extremely attractive for Porsche. Endurance racing is part of our brand’s DNA.”

In making the announcement, Porsche reaffirmed its commitment to its broader motorsport activities that includes the all-electric FIA Formula E series and a slew of GT championships around the world.

“In the medium term, Porsche focuses on three different drive concepts: fully electric vehicles, efficient plug-in hybrids and emotional combustion engines,” said Michael Steiner, Porsche board member for Research and Development.

“We want to represent this trilogy in both the development of our cutting-edge road cars and in motorsport.

“We use the all-electric drive to contest the FIA Formula E as part of our works commitment, and the highly efficient and emotional combustion unit in GT racing.

“Now, the LMDh class closes the gap for us. There, powerful hybrid drives – like the ones that are mounted in many of our brand’s models – go up against each other.

“If the regulations eventually allowed the use of synthetic fuels, then that would be an even greater incentive for me in terms of sustainability.”

Porsche joins Volkswagen group stablemate Audi in confirming it will return to endurance racing.