There’s even more to come on DSC from the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend and Porsche’s launch of their new 963 as well.
Then it’s the boss’s turn! Head of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach has been at the helm of the brand’s motorsport business since October 2021 and has taken over at a very important time to focus on one of the most important players in global motorsport racing. sports and GT cars.
With a new GT3 car on stock, a focus on electrification (see DSC later this weekend) and the opportunity presented by the new converging ruleset between IMASa and the FA WEC, there has been plenty on the list of things to do. On Friday last week, however, a few things were ticked off with the public debut of the new 963 and the unveiling of the majority of the factory rider roster as well.
“To be able to present the car to the public here, and to drive it up the hill. Now is a time when you are proud because it is an important step in such a project. It’s a mix of, we’re excited, we’re proud, we’re excited about the future. But at the same time, we have great respect, because we know there’s still a long way to go before the car is ready to race.
“But we are in the midst of a development project. So what can we say? So far, so good.”
Is it a very different type of development project? Because you don’t just develop the Porsche 963 for Porsche Motorsport and your customers. But you are also the first organization to have the opportunity to drive on the track with it and therefore to do the initial development of this new hybrid system?
“Yeah. Absolutely right. There’s still a lot of Porsches inside that car. It’s a very close relationship between Multimatic, also between us and the one-spec parts suppliers. So it’s still a project very challenging and very important for us, that we can show our abilities and skills in the development of a racing car.
We were told at Sebring that there is a fantastic exchange of information between all the manufacturers for the LMDh, not just about what you get on the track, but also what they get on the dyno . Is this approach, in particular on the performance of this hybrid system, continuing at this stage,
“I think at this point when we’re talking about common parts of specification parts, I think that’s the right way to go. Because we’re all going to have to use them. So we all have a stake in getting them right and to make them reliable for the start of the season.
“So yes, there is a good exchange, there is a very good atmosphere between the manufacturers. And that’s something we really appreciate. And this is definitely the right way to go.
We also heard today that we may see the car on a circuit in Bahrain later this season in what was described in a press release as a non-competitive race. What should we expect in Bahrain later this year?
“Well, I have to say it’s not confirmed yet. This is our goal. But given that a race is always the best test, there’s no doubt about it. We will go there if the program is mature enough, the cars are mature enough and if we really think it makes sense. And then yes, it’s a run, mostly on a trial basis en route to the first season in 2023, which will start in the United States at Daytona.
“So I can confirm that for sure we will show everything we can show. But first and foremost it is a real step in the development program.
When last we had a conversation, did you mention the end of the era of manufacturers dominating sports car performance over a period of time? You said that Audi, Toyota and Porsche had done three in a row, that you would have to be mature enough not to expect that to happen at that time?
“Yeah, I think that comment was mostly related to the fact that we’re going to have very, very tight competition. And since we’ve all agreed that there will be the principle of balance of performance, I would say that if we let’s get 100%, okay, everyone has a chance to win.
“Obviously then you have to do a perfect job of it on the track, the drivers, the strategy, everything that has influence. And because there are so many manufacturers, and you know, they all have their abilities. I I would be surprised if a brand won for example three, four or five times in a row.
“Therefore, I expect such a tight competition that I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens. And yes, I think it’s good for the sport. It makes racing interesting and exciting.
We will very soon hear about the first customers of this car (The interview was recorded the day before the confirmation of the customer programs of JDC Miller and the Hertz Jota team). So we’re going to see this car racing through customer hands in the first season in 2023. Can you tell us again where fans might expect to see these customer cars? Will it be both championships or just one of them?
“What I can confirm is that we always said from the beginning that we were ready to provide two customer costs for the WEC and two customer cars for the IWSC in the first season.
“It’s just because if we’re selling a car to a customer, we want to make sure it’s working properly, it has a chance of winning, it’s reliable and we need to be in a position to give our serve.. That’s why we’ve limited ourselves to four. And it’s too early to tell but there’s huge interest. We’re having a lot of discussions, and I wouldn’t be surprised if very soon we would hear more about it.