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Porsche kicked off the 2024 FIA WEC season with a true display of strength. Right from the start at the Lusail circuit, the Weissach-based manufacturer dominated the 1812 km race in Qatar, reaffirming its status as the undisputed leader. This is just the latest triumph in a string of successes, including the victory at the Daytona 24 Hours in the IMSA class, highlighting the growing competitiveness of the 963 LMDh.

At the Lusail circuit, the Penske Motorsport team celebrated an extraordinary victory, with the crew composed of Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor, and André Lotterer clinching the top spot on the podium, while all 963 LMDh cars proved to be the most competitive Hypercars on the track. Additionally, Porsche secured another class victory in the LMGT3 with Aliaksandr Malykhin, Joel Sturm, and Klaus Bachler.

Driver Miguel Molina initially dominated the race, taking the lead at the expense of Michael Christensen's Porsche and Mike Conway's Toyota. However, Nico Müller in the Peugeot 9X8 LMH soon overtook Molina. Despite Müller's attempts to maintain the lead, Vanthoor started an impressive comeback, propelling the Porsche to the front. The 963 LMDh demonstrated superior tire wear management, allowing Vanthoor to surpass the Peugeot. Despite some setbacks, including an error by Molina and contact with a Lexus GT3, Porsche maintained its leadership, with Lotterer and Estre solidifying the victory.

It was a disappointment for Peugeot, which was on track for its best result with the 9X8 LMH before a sudden power loss relegated them to seventh place. The Jota team's Porsche seized the opportunity, finishing second, followed by the official Porsche of pole-sitter Matt Campbell. The Cadillac V-Series.R staged a remarkable comeback to secure fourth place, while the Toyota GR010 Hybrid was disappointed with its placement, hampered by a new Balance of Performance.

Ferrari also had a mixed day, with the AF Corse team securing a solid fifth place, while the factory team struggled with various issues and finished eighth and fourteenth. The BMW M Hybrid V8s also had a challenging outing, with one car retiring and the other slowed by mechanical problems. The Lamborghini SC63 was the surprise package, finishing ahead of its BMW counterpart and demonstrating excellent reliability.

In the LMGT3 category, Malykhin's Porsche dominated, followed by the Heart of Racing Aston Martin and another Aston Martin and BMW M4. The Ferrari 296 GT3 achieved a good result, while the Iron Dames' Lamborghini Huracan secured eighth place.

In conclusion, Porsche began the season with an impressive victory, reaffirming its dominance in the FIA WEC and gearing up for further challenges throughout the season.

© Cavalieri Garage & Co.


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