The V8-powered racer racked up over 1,200 miles at Circuit de Catalunya.
Following intensive track testing just last month, Porsche's striking LMDh prototype took to the circuit yet again, covering an incredible 1,200 development miles as the Porsche Penske Motorsport team sets out to hone the hybridized racecar.
With Porsche works drivers Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron behind the wheel, the aim of the strenuous tests was to develop the tires and perfect the interaction between the powerplant and the various hybrid elements. The Stuttgart-based brand plans on entering the LMDh into prestigious motorsport events, including the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Despite the large turbocharged V8 mill which produces around 670-horsepower, Porsche has designed the engine to run on renewable fuels, allowing for a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. More famously known for its flat-six configurations, Porsche has a long legacy of building fine V8 engines, which is clear to see with the LMDh prototype.
Porsche's Vice President of Motorsport, Thomas Laudenbach, said the success of the latest tests is a very important step in the right direction. "During our first laps on our test track in Weissach, it was critical to ensure that the basic functions of the LMDh prototype worked. In Spain, we saw the entire scope of development: endurance runs, setup work, and, very importantly, the optimization of the interaction between all partners involved in this project."
The rigorous testing will ensure the LMDh is competitive when the prototype debuts at its first race outing in January 2023 at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Porsche first gave us a glimpse of the racer in December last year and, while it still wears a camouflage wrap, we can get a better look at the overall design. Styled to be as slippery and aerodynamic as possible, the LMDh shares very few design cues with any road-going Porsches, although there is a hint of the Taycan in those headlights.
Feedback from the drivers was positive, too. Cameron noted these tests aren't about pushing the car to the edge. "On the contrary: our approach is very conservative. Based on this, my impression is extremely positive, because there is still an incredible amount of potential to further improve our new car." He also said that as the LMDh covered more mileage, performance improved considerably.
This was Nasr's first time behind the wheel, the Brazillian racing driver describing it as a terrific experience. "My impression of the vehicle is positive and I'll leave Barcelona with a smile. I was very much looking forward to these first runs. It was a very special experience for me and makes me excited for everything to come in the future."