The second 963 for the British Jota team’s expanded two-car assault on the 2024 WEC will be the last car completed before production is temporarily halted, the German manufacturer has revealed.
Porsche has changed its original plan to make available a further two cars to customers for each series in the second year of competition of the 963.
The plan allowed for the release of four cars, two per series, to customers in both 2023 and ’24.
Porsche’s LMDh project boss, Urs Kuratle, explained that the reasons for the decision are twofold.
“We would simply overload our supply chain, that is one thing,” said Kuratle.
This includes, he stated, the supply of the one-make LMDh battery produced by WAE Technologies (formerly Williams Advanced Engineering).
“There is a bit of a problem with battery supply, this is not a secret: to have more cars in the field would be a bit of a problem,” he explained.
“The second [reason] is that we would overload our system with customer support: we felt mid-season that we have really reached the limit for the support – Porsche wants to give good support to the customers.”
Photo by: Art Fleischmann
#5 JDC Miller Motorsports Porsche 963: Tijmen van der Helm, Mike Rockenfeller
He added that the LMDh project incorporating the twin factory assaults by Penske Porsche Motorsport in WEC and IMSA and its customer programme “is simply not as far along as we planned”.
Kuratle stated that there was no firm date for the resumption of the build of 963s in the middle of next year.
He insisted that there is demand from existing and new customers for 963s and that further cars in addition to Jota’s second chassis could have been sold for 2024.
On the presumption that Jota gets its second entry for the WEC, which is likely to include high-profile ex-Formula 1 drivers including Robert Kubica and possibly Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, there will be five customer 963s in competition next year.
Jota’s two cars in the WEC will be joined by Proton Competition’s entry, which came on stream at the Monza round in July.
Proton and JDC/Miller MotorSports will each run a solo 963 in a full IMSA campaign in 2024, with the latter announcing on Tuesday that it has added former Cadillac WEC racer Richard Westbrook to its driving strength.