Webber’s Porsche LMP1 debut

Mark Webber conducts first test in the Porsche LMP1 he will pilot at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Only a few weeks after removing his helmet from a Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car (quite literally on the in-lap), the nine-time Grand Prix winner has been getting strapped into Porsche’s brand new LMP1 for the team’s final test session of 2013. Though still under contract with Red Bull, the Aussie was given the green light.

At last, some specs to speak of too. While the new Audi R18 e-tron is likely to use a modified version of the 490hp 3.7-litre V6 TDI hybrid powertrain in its current model, Porsche’s new contender features a hybrid system that consists of a four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection and two energy recuperation systems. An electric motor also powers the front axle.

Testing took place at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve near Portimão, Portugal and marked Webber’s first run in a Le Mans contender since 1999. And the history books/YouTube are all too clear what happened on that occasion.

Testing resumes in 2014 ahead of the World Endurance Championship season opening round in Silverstone in April, with the already signed Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani are expected to take the wheel once again. Porsche’s ‘Mission 2014’ includes not only a two-car assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the team’s first since 1998 – but also the full eight-round WEC campaign.

– Shots from Monza, Paul Ricard and Portimão courtesy of Porsche

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