The development work on the new Porsche LMDh prototype continues and the race car was recently put to its paces during a test session in Barcelona. The Circuit de Catalunya where the sixth round of this year’s Formula 1 competition will be held hosted high-speed evaluation procedures for the new hybrid track monster.
Following the initial tests at Porsche's in-house Weissach track (see the related links below), the LMDh prototype was recently brought to Spain where Porsche factory drivers Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron spent a few days behind the wheel. The duo covered more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) and the feedback has been very positive. The main mission the engineers from Zuffenhausen had was to develop the tires and optimize the interaction between the V8 engine and the components of the hybrid system.
Gallery: Porsche LMDh test in Barcelona
“The successful tests in Barcelona were an enormously important step,” Thomas Laudenbach, VP Porsche Motorsport, commented. “During our first laps on our test track in Weissach, it was critical to ensure that the basic functions of the LMDh prototype worked. In Spain, we saw the entire scope of development: endurance runs, setup work and, very importantly, the optimization of the interaction between all partners involved in this project.”
Contrary to what Toyota and Peugeot decided for their hybrid race cars, Porsche has installed a V8 engine as part of the electrified powertrain of the LMDh. The competition from Japan and France will use a V6 unit, but Porsche's eight-cylinder unit can rev to up to 10,000 rpm and runs on renewable fuels. The total output of the system for all cars must not exceed 671 horsepower (500 kilowatts) with Williams Advanced Engineering supplying the battery and Bosch delivering the electric motor capped at 67 hp (50 kW).
Porsche will continue the development program of the LMDh on different race tracks around Europe and North America later this year. Once all the work is done, the prototype will be homologated and will make its official race debut in January next year at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.