D he last overall victory of a Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1998. At that time Stéphane Ortelli, Yannick Dalmas and Allan McNish won in a Porsche 911 GT1. In 2014, the brand, which was successful 16 times at Le Mans, plans to return to the Sarthe with an LMP1 car.
A new competence center is being built in Weissach for this purpose. The first test drives with the racing car, which is supposed to put Audi and Toyota under pressure, are planned for the middle of next year. That's the well-known part of the story.
Porsche gathers F1 professionals around them
Die Scene knows more. For example, that Porsche is hiring an unusually large number of specialists with a Formula 1 background for its Le Mans project. Former BMW logistics boss Fritz Enzinger is to lead the operations. Engine expert Alex Hitzinger, chief engineer Mike Krack and chief mechanic Urs Kuratle also answer the call to Weissach.
Formula 1 people are not only poached from Sauber. Other teams are also leaving for Germany. And even the Audi subsidiary. Everyone is evidently lured away with the bait that they want to play in really big motorsport in the medium term.
Porsche sets up racing headquarters
The new competence center in Weissach is to become a racing factory at its best . The approval process for a state-of-the-art wind tunnel is ongoing. Hours have already been booked in the McLaren simulator for future Porsche drivers. In the Formula 1 paddock, one wonders whether the effort is really only intended for the Le Mans project.
So far, all Formula 1 plans in the VW Group have failed due to the veto of father Ferdinand Piech. But there is now said to have been a rethink. The new engine regulations with 1.6 liter V6 turbo engines with direct injection and hybrid technology are interesting for Porsche. Should there be a budget cap, a Formula 1 commitment at reasonable prices would be feasible.