Motorsports programme focuses on works and customer races in addition to preparing for LMDh
Porsche is set to start the 2022 motorsport season with ambitious goals and extensive programmes. The prime focus will be on the two works entries in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The expansion of customer sport activities and intensive preparation for the new LMDh programme have now been added to the schedule of activities. "Motorsports have always had a special role to play in Porsche's corporate strategy, and for more than 70 years now we have used the racing stage as the testing grounds for our latest technologies. We face great challenges today – in both sporting and organisational terms. We are determined to play an active role in shaping the future, while ensuring we retain our motorsports DNA," said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG at the digital Porsche Night of Champions.
"We place sustainability and electrification very high on our list of priorities," added Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development. "This is something that will also be reflected in motorsports of the future. As you can see from the development of eFuels in partnership with ExxonMobil, in addition to our Mission R concept car, the first major steps in this direction have now become visible." The all-electric Mission R racing car study caused a sensation when it was unveiled at the IAA MOBILITY 2021 in Munich, for example. This spectacular all-wheel drive racing car that delivers up to 800 kW (1,088 PS) is the vision of a potential customer sports car of the future.
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Series will be starting its eighth season in 2022. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team has set itself an ambitious goal for the next 16 world championship events: the Porsche 99X Electric is expected to turn its great potential into a series of successes. "There is absolutely no doubt that we have what it takes to win races. The highlights of the past season have made this very clear," says Thomas Laudenbach, the man who took over the management of Porsche Motorsport from Fritz Enzinger on 1 October this year. "Over the past few months, our development team in Weissach has made all the modifications permitted by the regulations and we are firmly convinced that the Porsche 99X Electric will be capable of leading the pack in the coming season. "The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is putting in faith on continuity in the two cockpits: works drivers André Lotterer (#36) and Pascal Wehrlein (#94) will be on the grid again for the team from Weissach in 2022. Should one of the two drop out, Simona de Silvestro or Neel Jani will be ready to jump in. The new season is scheduled to start on 28/29 January 2022 with two races in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
In the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), Porsche will again field two 515 PS 911 RSR in the 2022 season. The two racing cars will enter the upcoming six races under the leadership of Alexander Stehlig, Overall Project Manager and Head of Operations, and will field a slightly different driver crew. The Italian Gianmaria Bruni and Austrian Richard Lietz will again share driving duties in the No. 91 car. In the No. 92 sister car, Kévin Estre from France will swap seats with the experienced Dane Michael Christensen. The duo had taken a class victory competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years ago as well as picking up the 2018/2019 title. The first race of the new season is billed to take place on 18 March in Sebring (USA), and on 11/12 June 2022, the two Porsche 911 RSR will compete in the 90th edition of the French endurance classic. When they compete in the highlight of the year, the two driver crews will be supported by works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki from France (#91) and Belgian Laurens Vanthoor (#92).
Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr are to be included in Porsche Motorsport's works driver line-up as of 2022. Cameron, the 33-year-old American, won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi title in 2016 and 2019, while Nasr, the 29-year-old ex-Formula 1 driver from Brazil, secured the championship in the North American endurance racing series in 2018 and 2021. The two new works drivers are to be involved intensively in the further development of Porsche's LMDh prototypes. The management of these ground-breaking endurance racing activities for Porsche will be in the capable hands of the experienced Swiss national, Urs Kuratle. The 500 kW (680 PS) hybrid racing car is scheduled to complete numerous test runs in 2022.
Beginning in 2023, the LMDh prototype will be entered by Porsche Penske Motorsport in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. For the first time in some 30 years, it will then be possible to compete for overall victories in the endurance classics at Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona with cars of identical construction. "We are working all-out with our partner Penske on the development of the new LMDh prototype and collaborate closely with the chassis manufacturer Multimatic at all times," explains Thomas Laudenbach. "In January, we will begin intensive testing to ensure that we are optimally prepared for our 2023 competition debut."
In the 2022 season, Porsche will again support numerous customer teams that will be competing with the 911 GT3 R on major international stages. In Germany, this will primarily mean the ADAC GT Masters and also, for the first time, the DTM, where experienced partners will do battle for an entire racing season: Team SSR Performance has been extremely successful in the ADAC GT Masters to date and will be fielding two nine-elevens. Team 75 Bernhard will be sending an identically constructed car delivering over 500 PS in accordance with FIA GT3 regulations into what will probably be eight events in the coming year. Works driver Thomas Preining (Austria) will be behind the wheel in the team of the two times overall Le Mans winner and Porsche brand ambassador. Porsche will be supporting the two DTM customer teams based on its tried and tested concept, consisting of engineers, spare parts service and drivers from the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer's squad.
In the North American IMSA racing series, the customer teams will again be competing for victories in 2021 after picking up six title wins in an extremely successful year. In the new GTD Pro class, Pfaff Motorsports will be fielding a Porsche 911 GT3 R with the two works drivers Matt Campbell (Australia) and Mathieu Jaminet (France). More GT3 cars fielded by customer teams are planned for the GTD category. For the European endurance classics at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, the partners will be sending numerous nine-elevens from Weissach into the fray. Team Manthey - defending champion and record winner at the Nürburgring 24 Hours - will once again be competing with a formidable crew. Works drivers Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen, Laurens Vanthoor and Frédéric Makowiecki will be sharing the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 R, affectionately known as "Grello". The entry of four more versions of the 500+ PS nine-eleven at this German classic has now been confirmed.
Customer teams competing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge, the FIA WEC, the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series, among others, will receive the same support from Porsche as last year. In the numerous GT4 racing series taking place around the world, which also includes the German DTM Trophy, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, which was unveiled in November, will line up on the starting grid for the first time in 2022. The homologated racing car develops 368 kW (500 PS) and is thus significantly more powerful than its predecessor. During the development of the new GT4 racer, the focus was also on drivability and even more efficient aerodynamics.
The current 375 kW (510 PS) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup competes in its second racing season in 2022 in numerous one-make cups worldwide. The focus in the coming year will once again be on the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The international Porsche one-make cup is run as part of Formula 1 and will also achieve a special milestone in 2022: this will be the Supercup’s 30th season. From the ranks of the Porsche squad, expectations are high for German driver Laurin Heinrich, as he prepares for the competition, which will comprise a total of eight events: at a scouting session in November consisting of twelve participants, the 20-year-old put on a convincing display and, as a new Porsche Junior, will now receive extensive support from Porsche Motorsport.
The traditional Porsche Cup, which has been awarded annually to the most successful private Porsche driver since 1970, will go to Jan Heylen in 2021. Together with works driver Patrick Long and his American compatriot Trent Hindman, the experienced Belgian won the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup last season at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 R from Wright Motorsports. This judgement takes into account the four most important endurance races in North America. Heylen also won the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge for GT4 cars together with American driver Ryan Hardwick. In this event, the customer team from the U.S. State of Ohio entered a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The 41-year-old cycling enthusiast, who has lived in the USA for many years, will receive a new Porsche sports car worth 150,000 euros, in addition to the coveted trophy. The award for successful amateur drivers, which has been presented for 52 years, is based on an idea suggested by Ferry Porsche.
At the digital Porsche Night of Champions on 18 December, Australian Joshua Rogers was honoured for a second time as the champion of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. The 22-year-old from the Coanda Simsport team secured the title in the racing series, which is held on the iRacing platform, for a second time this year after receiving the title in 2019. The 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup starts on 5 February on the virtual version of the GP circuit in Hockenheim.