Getting ready for Le Mans 2014.
2010 was the last year that Porsche had a sports prototype in either of the LMP classes with their entry of the LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder. The car was able to achieve a number of victories during its run from 2005-2010 including two class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2011, the German automaker decided to renew its commitment to LMP racing and work began on the new LMP1 sports prototype with the goal of competing at Le Mans in 2014.
“During the development of our new LMP1 vehicle, we faced the same challenge as in the series production development of our road legal cars,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “Our aim was to achieve the best possible efficiency without compromising performance.”
Porsche built a new workshop and administration building at the Motorsports Center at Weissach, Germany, to accommodate an additional 200 employees dedicated to the new LMP program. The team is responsible for the design, development, and assembly of the new LMP1 sports prototype and has worked alongside Porsche works driver, Timo Bernhard, who was able to race the new car around the test track at Weissach a few weeks ahead of schedule.
“I was involved in the development of the new car right from the outset,” says Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard. “I’m very proud that I was the one to take our baby through its first paces today. Already now the car feels great. I look forward to testing the vehicle in the coming weeks and months with my friend and colleague Romain Dumas.”
Engineers were able to create the new car from a clean slate using the new regulations and restrictions designed towards improving efficiency.
“We are well on schedule,” said Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “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.”
Drivers Timo Berhard (32) and Romain Dumas (35) will be the first to drive and test the new LMP1 sports prototype around the test track at Weissach and other circuits around the world. Porsche plans to compete with their new LMP1 racer in the 2014 sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Porsche LMP1 Preview Gallery