February 29, 2024
Sport

Porsche aims to speed into 2024 motorsport season on a winning spree

Sports car manufacturer to compete in the world’s greatest races

Porsche Motorsport is set to head into 2024 with big aspirations. Stuttgart’s sports car manufacturer is determined to win titles with its factory teams in the world’s largest endurance championships, at Le Mans, and various esports series.

A variety of customer racing activities will supplement this programme. Porsche announced its plans on December 2, 2023, at the annual Night of Champions. As part of the gala in the Weissach development centre, Nicolas Leutwiler from Switzerland was awarded the Porsche Cup as the best amateur driver of the 2023 season. The Frenchman Alessandro Ghiretti participated in the celebrations as the new Porsche Junior.

Titles and victories in the world’s greatest races: This is the high benchmark that Porsche Motorsport has set itself for the 2024 season.

Core elements

The core elements remain the same: the work’s engagement with the Porsche 963 in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the campaign with the Porsche 99X Electric in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the ESL R1 sim racing competition with the Porsche factory team Coanda Esports Racing Team.

“Motorsport is at the core of the Porsche brand. For us, motorsport and innovation are inextricably linked. New developments from motorsport improve our road cars,” explains Oliver Blume, Chair of the Executive Board of Porsche AG.

“In motorsport, we rely on our pioneering spirit, courage, and sportiness. The love for Porsche begins on the racetrack. There is often not a lot between victory and defeat. We experienced this firsthand this year. But we would not be Porsche if we did not learn from setbacks. We are fierce fighters with great ambition and perseverance. That has always set us apart.”

“In 2024 we’ll concentrate fully on our current portfolio in factory and customer racing,” states Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

He adds: “With the FIA WEC, the IMSA series and Formula E, we take on three fantastic championships. We are strongly represented here with Andretti, JDC-Miller, Proton, Jota, and our work teams. With more manufacturers coming on board, it will be fascinating, especially in the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans. We aim to fight for victories and championships. In the virtual scene, I am excited to see how the ESL R1 series and our successful Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team will continue to develop.”

Driver line-up

The Porsche Penske Motorsport works team will tackle the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2024 with a slightly different driver line-up.

American Dane Cameron and Matt Campbell from Australia will swap cockpits for the coming season. Campbell will share the No. 5 Porsche 963 in the World Endurance Championship with Michael Christensen from Denmark and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki. Kévin Estre (France), André Lotterer (Germany) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) continue to share the sister car.

In the North American IMSA Championship, Mathieu Jaminet from France and Nick Tandy from Great Britain will crew the No. 6 hybrid prototype again. The duo clinched the maiden race win for the Porsche 963 on the Long Beach street circuit in April 2023.

Porsche
Le Mans figures prominently on Porsche Motorsports’ 2024 season agenda. Image: Porsche Motorsport

At the 24 Hours of Daytona season opener in January 2023, Jaminet and Tandy will be joined in the cockpit by Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor. Felipe Nasr from Brazil and Dane Cameron from the USA will share driving duties as the regular drivers in the No. 7 vehicle. The pair receives support at Daytona from Matt Campbell and American IndyCar star Josef Newgarden.

“We’ve made a logical change in our driver squad,” explains Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport.

“Our goal continues to be to optimise the overall package for contesting the two major championships. This applies to the vehicle, the team processes, and the cockpit crews. Last season, we fought for the title in the IMSA series until the last race. Our expectations for 2024 are high: we want to lead the way in North America, Le Mans and the FIA WEC.”

Formula E

Porsche celebrated its most successful Formula E season to date: In 2023, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team achieved four wins in the innovative electric racing series and was within reach of clinching the title with the Porsche 99X Electric until the final round of the season.

“We’ve evolved into a top team and have established ourselves at the top,” says Florian Modlinger, Director of Factory Motorsport in Formula E. “With the Porsche 99X Electric Gen3, we have developed a vehicle capable of winning. It was a strong team effort.”

In 2023, Porsche supported a customer team, Avalanche Andretti, in Formula E for the first time. The American team owned by the US motorsport legend Michael Andretti tapped the full potential of the package that Porsche provided: In the Porsche 99X Electric, Jake Dennis (UK) drove to title glory in the drivers’ world championship.

Porsche aims to build on these successes in season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

17 races

In 2024, the impressive calendar features 17 races, including, for the first time, the fascinating metropolises of Tokyo and Shanghai. The season opens with the Mexico City E-Prix on January 13. Now in its fifth Formula E season, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team again fields two Porsche 99X Electric racers with drivers Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) and António Félix da Costa (Portugal).

Returning to contest the series under a new name, Andretti Formula E, the customer team also campaigns two Weissach-developed electric racing cars. The reigning world champion Jake Dennis is joined in the cockpit by a new teammate: Norman Nato from France.

The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team returns in 2024 to tackle many events on virtual racetracks. The works team will again contest the ESL R1 series based on the Rennsport simulation software and the Le Mans Virtual Series.

With its headquarters in Gronau in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia, the squad is represented by works drivers Joshua Rogers, Dayne Warren (Australia) and Charlie Collins (Great Britain), among others. Moreover, the spectacular Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup run on iRacing’s sim racing platform will be contested in 2024. Thirty contestants have qualified for the coming season and will fight for lucrative prizes.

With the introduction of the new class for GT3 vehicles in the FIA WEC, the competition in the Le Mans classic also changed fundamentally. Manthey will fly the Porsche colours in the 2024 World Endurance Championship. The outfit fields two 911 GT3 R and goes up against GT cars from eight other manufacturers.

Among others, the Austrians, Richard Lietz and Klaus Bachler will helm the cockpits. The team based in Meuspath in Germany’s Eifel region also continues its DTM campaign. The reigning champions once again rely on the works driver and 2023 DTM driver’s champion Thomas Preining from Austria in one of the two cars.

Four teams will field five Porsche 911 GT3 R in the two GT classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. AO Racing will advance to the GTD Pro category. Kellymoss, with Riley, runs a vehicle in both GT classes. Wright Motorsports and MDK Motorsports will take on the GTD category, facing the new Porsche customer squad Andretti Motorsports.

Customer teams

In the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge, the European Le Mans Series, and the Asian Le Mans Series, customer teams received Porsche’s support as they had in the previous year. The same applies to the GT4 racing series and classes with the successful Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport.

Two major racing highlights for customers each year are the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps. In 2024, numerous Porsche partner teams will continue to fight for overall and class victories at these classic events with racing vehicles from Weissach.

Seasoned squads and strong driver line-ups will tackle the Nürburgring-Nordschleife on June 1-2, 2024. Specific entries will be announced in the coming weeks. Porsche Motorsport expects many customer teams to travel to the FIA GT World Cup in Macau with the 911 GT3 R.

Porsche’s one-make cups have been a well-established mainstay in the customer sports programme since 1986. In addition to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which will again run as part of the European Formula 1 support programme in 2024, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will line up on the grid of 35 national and regional Porsche Carrera Cups, among others. To date, over 1,000 992-generation GT3 Cup vehicles have been built.

Partnerships

For the 2024 season, Porsche Motorsport and local partners will continue to develop the fledgling series in New Zealand and Indonesia and the Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East, among others. In addition, Porsche and Manthey joined forces once again to contest the Porsche Endurance Trophy Nürburgring.

Alessandro Ghiretti is the new Porsche Junior. The 21-year-old Frenchman beat 11 competitors in an extensive selection process in Portugal. The reigning rookie champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will receive a sponsorship package of up to 225,000 Euros towards his racing commitments and comprehensive training in all areas relevant to motorsport. Among other accolades, the Porsche Carrera Cup France vice-champion has set his sights on claiming the 2024 Supercup title.

Nicolas Leutwiler has won the 2023 Porsche Cup. At the wheel of a customer-run Porsche, the 63-year-old gentleman from Switzerland earned 17,312 points as the best amateur driver in his category. With this, “Niki” Leutwiler relegated the German Robert Renauer (13,758 points) and last year’s Porsche Cup winner Ralf Bohn (Germany, 12,633 points) to second and third place, respectively.

The winner of the 2023 Porsche Cup celebrated numerous successes last season in the Asian Le Mans Series and the GT World Challenge with the 911 GT3 R, as well as in the GT4 European Series with the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. Leutwiler receives a road-legal Porsche of his choice worth up to 150,000 Euros as a prize. This time-honoured trophy is based on the idea of Ferry Porsche and has been presented annually to successful amateur drivers since 1970.

Featured image: Porsche Motorsport has set itself a high benchmark for the 2024 motorsport season. Image: Porsche Motorsport

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers trending business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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