The long and illustrious relationship between Porsche and Roger Penske will continue in 2023 when the German auto manufacturer and The Captain’s team reunite to field dual factory LMDh campaigns in IMSA and the WEC.
For the North American WeatherTech SportsCar Championship effort, the newly-named Porsche Penske Motorsport team will be run from Penske’s vast facility in Mooresville, North Carolina, where previous sports car projects have been housed alongside IndyCar and NASCAR programs. Penske will also oversee the European portion of the LMDh operation, which will be based in Germany throughout the length of the multi-year contract.
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RACER understands Team Penske was selected from three finalists, which included United Autosports and Manthey Racing.
“We are delighted that we were able to get Team Penske to form this partnership,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Porsche executive board. “For the first time in the history of Porsche Motorsport, our company will have a global team competing in the world’s two largest endurance series. To this end, we will be setting up team bases on both sides of the Atlantic. This will enable us to create the optimal structures we will need to take overall victories at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, for example.”
Penske’s ties with Porsche date back to its legendary Can-Am alliance in the early 1970s, and continued in the 2000s with more championship victories in the American Le Mans Series (main image). The two concluded the partnership after spending the 2009 season in Grand-Am’s Daytona Prototype class as the manufacturer considered commissioning a new LMP1 project the following year.
“This is a proud day for our entire Penske organization,” Penske said. “We have represented Porsche on the track or in our businesses for more than six decades. The heritage and success we have enjoyed together is unparalleled throughout our history. I can’t wait to get started as we build a global racing program with Porsche that will compete for wins and championships well into the future.”
In the time since their last sports car partnership, Porsche earned additional titles and overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its LMP1 919 Hybrids and Penske delivered two IMSA DPi championships for Acura from 2018-2020.
Porsche also confirmed its intent to support customer programs from the outset of the LMDh era.
“As of 2023, Porsche will compete in the major endurance racing series,” said Dr. Michael Steiner, Porsche’s R&D board member. “Our intention is to support and shape the new era with our LMDh prototypes. Not only will we be keeping our fingers crossed for the four factory cars we have in total, but also for our customer teams.
“The new LMDh vehicle will also be entered as a customer car in both series as early as the 2023 season. These partner teams will be given our full support. Whatever insights we gain from our factory effort will also be shared with them.”
Porsche Motorsport North America is expected to continue servicing IMSA customers with sales and support when the 680hp, hybrid LMDh formula debuts at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2023. Porsche Motorsport is expected to play the same ongoing role in Europe.