I don’t recall a time in history when a single manufacturer introduced three all-new competition cars to the motorsport in the span of one week, but Porsche is set to do just that, starting this Friday. The brand new Gen 3 Porsche 99X Electric Formula E competitor bows to the world in Mexico City for free practice 1 on Friday the 13th before racing on Saturday the 14th. Just under a week later, both the new 963 LMDh and the 992-generation GT3 R will hit the world stage with the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
Both the Formula E team and the Pfaff Porsche customer squad are returning to the scene of victory in 2022 in attempt to reclaim glory. The 963, meanwhile, is writing a brand new chapter for Porsche. A Porsche-powered machine has not won overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona since the Action Express team won with a Daytona Prototype powered by a Cayenne V8 in 2010, and a Porsche-built chassis hasn’t won the race overall since the fluke reliability victory of TRG’s 996 GT3 RS back in 2003. The new GTP and the new GTD Pro cars bow on the 20th ahead of their first competition session on Sunday the 22nd, though technically just a qualifying session. The race actually comes the following weekend.
Obviously the E-Prix in Mexico City would be a great race for Porsche to reassert their competence in a series that has seen the Stuttgart squad through some growing pains these last couple of years. It would be nice to see the refreshed team with a brand new car back on top of the podium. The team ran an absolutely dominant race in 2022 at the circuit, pulling a strong lead and maintaining battery for the full length while many others dropped out with poor strategy behind. It was the most Porsche victory I’ve seen in quite some time. Cold and calculated. Let’s see more of that, boys! With the new 99X Electric and former FE champion António Félix da Costa joining the team alongside 2022 Mexico E-Prix victor Pascal Wehrlein, hopefully we’re in for a stunner.
Daytona will hopefully be a return to form for Porsche in the 963. Everyone in the GTP class has a brand new car, including competition from Acura, Cadillac, and BMW, but Acura and Cadillac have more experience with similar chassis in recent years, having run the most recent regulation IMSA DPi class for the past several years. Here’s hoping that Porsche and its drivers can come to grips with their new hybrid prototype quicker than the rest, and the car is built well enough to hold together. If there’s anything we know about Penske, he runs a tight ship and there’s a high probability that the car will be strong from the off.
As for the 992 GT3 R, we shouldn’t be worried even a little bit. Porsche has been building excellent GT racing cars for decades, and this newest version should be no different. The Pfaff team are competing at the highest level they’ve ever seen, and are looking for a repeat of their victory in 2022 at the 24 Hour race in Florida. Here’s hoping the whole thing goes off with maybe a little less Porsche-on-Porsche violence than last year.