It seems like Porsche enthusiasts everywhere have been waiting ages for their new cars to come in so they can take delivery of their future pride and joy. With global supply chains seemingly worse than ever, Stuttgart’s finest are getting backed up pretty substantially. As it turns out, it’s not just the street cars that are getting delayed. Porsche has confirmed this week that customer teams Jota Sport, JDC-Miller Racing, and Proton Competition will all be waiting several months to get their new 963 customer race prototypes. Those three teams will need to wait until at least the third round of the FIA WEC and the fourth round of the IMSA championship at the earliest to get racing. That, of course, means none of them will be in the fight for this year’s championship. They’ll need to spend 2023 as a foundation year to get their legs under them to bring the heat in 2024.
Porsche and Penske are working together as a factory effort, and as such will receive the first five or six chassis out of the gate, simply because the team needs two cars each for FIA WEC and IMSA GTP competition, plus a spare in case anything goes wrong immediately. With the IMSA season starting in January, and testing already going on, the team is getting acclimated to its new car. Porsche knew that it wouldn’t be able to get customer cars out into the world for the Daytona 24, but had hoped to get the cars racing ahead of Sebring in March. With further delays, Porsche have now stated that the cars won’t be ready for delivery until at least April, which means IMSA teams will be missing Daytona, Sebring, and Long Beach, while WEC teams will miss Sebring and Portimao. With a big push and a little luck, the cars will be in customer car hands before the Laguna Seca round or the Spa 6 Hour.
As you likely know by now, JDC-Miller will be running a car in IMSA while Jota will field the same in WEC. Proton Competition is expecting two cars to run one in each series.
“There are supply chain problems,” Porsche Motorsport’s LMDh director Urs Kuratle told Autosport. “Our customers all knew when they signed the contracts that the cars will be delivered in April next year, and with the calendars that means Daytona, Sebring, Long Beach and Portimao it’s not possible to have the customer cars. We don’t like this fact, the customers not also, not even the governance bodies but that’s the way it is. We communicated that quite early, and that’s basically still the case. The cars will be ready at the end of April, right now we’re in communication with the customers because we want to obviously bring them as soon as possible to the car. Representatives from the customers are in the paddock this week, they joined us during our earlier tests and when we buildup the cars they’ll be a part of it to get them as close as possible.”
Honestly, the fact that these cars are being delayed isn’t so much of a worry at the moment, because it looks like we’re still on track to see at least four Porsches for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is really the most important part of this whole venture. As long as Jota [two-time defending LMP2 class Le Mans winners] and Proton Competition get their cars before June, we’re good. Sometimes good things come to those who wait.