Porsche plans a return to its long-unassailable place atop the international sports car wars by doing extensive testing on the just-unveiled Porsche 963 hypercar, which will join the wars in the LMPh class beginning with a full-time 2023 campaign in both the World Endurance Championship and stateside, in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. In both cases, Porsche is partnering with Team Penske for its factory assault, and if you’re old enough to remember the original Can-Am series from back in the 1970s, you’re fully aware of how Penske and Porsche have flattened the competition when they’ve teamed up in the past. Think D-O-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N.
Clad in the official Porsche works livery of red, black and white – think of the Porsche Salzburg 917s back in the glory years around 1970 – the 963 and its hybrid powertrain have already completed some 4,900 test miles already this year. The development work has been headquartered at Team Penske’s sprawling U.S. base in Mooresville, North Carolina, and for the WEC entries, at a satellite Team Penske facility in Mannheim, Germany, which used to a Porsche Centre operated by Penske Automotive Group, the transportation giant’s global auto-retailing arm. A quartet of 963s are planned for the 2023 effort, two each for WEC and IMSA. Porsche Penske Motorsport, as it’s officially called, will give the 963 its first non-competitive track shakedown at the final 2022 WEC round in November, which takes place in Bahrain.