Porsche announced it will compete in the new LMDh hybrid racing class using technology developed by Multimatic. Its upcoming race car is scheduled to make its competition debut during the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2023.
Announced in early 2020, the LMDh (Le Mans Daytona Hybrid) category is shaped by a one-size-fits-all set of norms that the North American International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and France’s Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) both agreed to in an astonishing moment of collaboration. It aims to make competing in either series (or both) more affordable for major carmakers like Porsche and Audi and for smaller, privately-funded teams alike.
While we assume Porsche could have developed its own chassis, the LMDh regulations aim to put all teams on equal financial footing by asking them to work with one of four approved manufacturers. Porsche and sister company Audi chose Canada-based Multimatic; Oreca, Dallara and Ligier are the others that made the cut.
Porsche has collaborated with Multimatic for several years. It sources shock absorbers for the 911 GT3 Cup race car from its Canadian partner, for example. Multimatic also provided suspension parts to the record-setting 919 Hybrid Evo and the 911 RSR. It manufactures and played a big role in developing the Ford GT, too.
Previously-released sketches pictured in the gallery give us a vague idea of what Porsche’s LMDh-spec race car will look like. Its underpinnings and its roughly 680-horsepower hybrid powertrain will come from Multimatic, but the body will be Porsche-specific. The car will need to tip the scale at 2,200 pounds or more to comply with regulations.
Porsche-Penske Motorsport will campaign the yet-unnamed car in the 2021 LMDh season. The prototype will race in endurance classics like Daytona, Sebring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an event Porsche has won 19 times.