Porsche Penske Motorsport serves as Porsche’s global operations team in the top classes of the two endurance series FIA WEC and IMSA. While the factory team prepares the two Porsche 963 race cars for the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the established base in Mooresville in the US state of North Carolina, work on the WEC project is done at the new team headquarters in Mannheim, Germany. Porsche and Team Penske have gone to great lengths to transform a former Porsche Center into a state-of-the-art, high-tech facility for its world championship campaigns.

Porsche Penske Motorsport, Base in Mannheim (D)

The property near the Autobahn 656 in the Friedrichsfeld district of Mannheim has belonged to Penske Automotive since 2008. Porsche Motorsport’s American partner ran the Porsche Center on the almost one-hectare site until 2014. The facility then waited for a new purpose. This began in December 2020. After the Porsche AG board approved the development of the new Porsche 963 Le Mans prototype and renewed its collaboration with the Penske team in May 2021, work began on the building complex on Lembacher Straße in Mannheim. The facility offers around 4,500 square meters of usable space.

“Our state-of-the-art facilities have to deliver everything we need to operate across two continents – between Mannheim, Weissach, and Mooresville – and globally as a race team,” explains Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport. “The building, originally designed and built by Porsche and then acquired by Penske as a Porsche dealership, has been fully remodeled and modernized to support the needs of racing and servicing our hybrid-powered Porsche 963 race cars around the world.”

Lobby dedicated to heritage

Porsche Penske Motorsport, Base in Mannheim (D), Lobby

The heritage becomes obvious at the entrance, with several exhibits from the Porsche Museum in the foyer – including the legendary RS Spyder, with which Porsche and Team Penske scooped the LMP2 title pool in the American Le Mans Series between 2006 and 2008. After three years of construction and an investment of several million euros, the Mannheim location now offers ideal working conditions for the WEC team, with spacious office space, state-of-the-art conference rooms, digital networking, and spotless workshops. Four work areas are used for the construction and maintenance as well as suspension and weight adjustment of the Porsche 963.

Le Mans Pit Stop Area

Le Mans Pit Stop area

There are also departments for pre-assembly, racing equipment, carbon composite processing, high-voltage systems, spare parts as well as storage and logistics. The highlight: Porsche Penske Motorsport has built a replica of the Le Mans pit lane. Every day, the mechanics practice changing tires and refueling on a special test and training vehicle. The facility also offers an on-site gym where the crew can work on improving their strength, coordination, and fitness.

“The facilities give us all the technical equipment we need to successfully work on race and test cars. The assemblies and spares are prepared in specifically designed areas which are close to our engineers and technicians,” comments Jan Lange, the new General Manager of Porsche Penske Motorsport. “The staff facilities such as the gym, cafeteria, and crew rooms ensure that our employees feel valued and connected as a whole team. Having the permanent indoor pit stop rig and car is invaluable for keeping us sharp over the year.”

Workshop area gallery

Work at the Mannheim location is not quite finished. The construction of a so-called “Battle Room” is currently nearing completion. From there, engineers provide strategic and operational support for the team at the circuit during racing events or test drives. On the Media Day in Mannheim (9 April), Porsche Penske Motorsport will open its doors to invited journalists from noon to 3 pm. In addition to Urs Kuratle (Director Factory Motorsport LMDh) and Jonathan Diuguid (Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport), the WEC works drivers André Lotterer from Germany and Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium are also available for discussions.

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Edited Porsche Factory Press Release
Pictures & Video courtesy Tim Havermans and Porsche AG