Motor sport

Can the new 963 LMDh carry on Porsche’s incredible legacy at Le Mans?

The difference between winners and losers should be natural: “the drivers, the strategies, the pit stops, the preparation… whoever builds a car with a wide range [of performance] peakless, that works in wet and dry, with old and new tires, with full tanks and with little fuel: whoever solves this challenge best should win, and that’s something we have to accept .

A beautiful ideal. How that works in practice, in a sport driven by selfish goals, is another matter.

At Goodwood, Porsche also confirmed its driver list for the new campaign, without specifying who will race in which championship. The list was compiled from the brand’s GT artists, including recent Academy graduates Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet. Recent IMSA signings Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr had already been confirmed, and it was no surprise that Andre Lotterer – the best known and longest named driver – was also selected.

lotterer said Sports car in a long interview for the magazine last summer that his main ambition still revolves around Le Mans, a race he has won three times with Audi. “It’s something I would love to achieve – to win Le Mans in a Porsche,” he said.

Now at 40, he might get his chance, at the likely price.

Andre Lotterer aims for a fourth victory at Le Mans, but a first with Porsche

Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

What the Porsche lineup is notably lacking, beyond Lotterer, is a superstar signing. Last time out with the LMP1 hybrid program, the automaker signed Mark Webber straight from Formula 1. Toyota had Fernando Alonso, who won twice Le Mans – and took the lion’s share of the spotlight (and arguably the credit). ) for their success together.

“We wanted to have a good mix of our own drivers,” Laudenbach explained. “At Mathieu and Matt, we have pilots from our own programs who have come through the ranks. Then we have guys who are already part of the factory program, within the Porsche family, like Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and André Lotterer. Then, of course, we have guys who are new to the family, like Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr. Our goal was to create a very strong driver line-up and a good mix. We are convinced that this is a group that can grow together, which is also a success factor. Nothing against Formula 1 drivers, but we decided to go this route because we believe it will give us the success we want.”