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Webber makes Porsche LMP1 debut

NEWS STORY
11/12/2013

Given the green light by Red Bull, Mark Webber has had his first outing in the Porsche LMP1 car as the German manufacturer completed the year's final test at Portimao.

At the Algarve circuit, Webber got his first chance to climb aboard the LMP1 race after Red Bull Racing gave the Australian the green light to conduct the initial tests, despite him still being under contract. From 1 January 2014, Webber officially joins the Porsche factory team as a works driver and will reinforce the already-signed driver line-up of Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani.

"My first day in this fascinating project was an intense experience for me," said Webber. "I would like to thank Red Bull Racing for giving me the chance to join the project so early. This is a major and important step for us all. It allows me to integrate with the team quicker and to contribute to further developing the LMP1 race car. We have a long way to go and it involves a lot of hard work. I have no misconceptions about this."

"I'm delighted to have Mark in the team so early," added Head of Porsche LMP1, Fritz Enzinger. "Red Bull Racing has helped us considerably in allowing this!"

The WEC regulations stipulate that manufacturers run hybrid vehicles in the top class for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP1). In developing the all-new LMP1 race car featuring a very efficient, high-performance hybrid drive, Porsche engineers face major challenges that can only be solved using innovative solutions. Therefore, the race car features a hybrid system that consists of a four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection and two energy recuperation systems. The recovered energy is stored in a battery until retrieved by the driver. A powerful electric motor then provides additional drive to the front axle. However, the WEC rules limit the amount of fuel as well as the electrical energy, or so-called boost, available to the driver per lap. The development of such a highly-efficient drive will have positive influences on the development of production sports cars at Porsche.

Testing will resume in early 2014, following which Porsche AG will field two LMP1 prototype race cars in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) starting April 2014, with the Le Mans 24 Hours as the highlight of the season.

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