The mystery of Porsche's final 963 GTP customer team


 There are times when chasing a story is as much fun as the answers waiting at the end of the journey, and my favorite one of late involves solving the mystery of IMSA’s 10th GTP entry.

We know the identity of nine GTP cars that are on the way for 2023: Acura Motorsports announced two cars will be split between Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing; BMW Motorsport has two cars that will be run by BMW Team RLL; Cadillac Racing has two cars coming with one apiece routed to Action Express Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing, and three of the four Porsche 963 have been allocated.

Two cars are dedicated to the Porsche Penske Motorsport and one’s earmarked for the privateer JDC-Miller Motorsports team. But what about that 10th and final piece of the full-time puzzle? It leaves the matter of placing the second privateer Porsche — the fourth 963 in total — the brand said it will supply for IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as the thread to follow.

So where is the last $2.9 million Porsche prototype headed? Let’s wander through the discovery process.

The rumors circulating during the recent Watkins Glen IMSA race positioned an IndyCar team as the fortunate entity to get the coveted green light from Porsche to purchase the car. With many teams expressing an interest in securing the last customer 963 to take part in the GTP category’s return, an application process was established as high demand was received with the opportunity.

Significant costs are also said to be involved with running a 963. Somewhere in the region of $7-10 million is rumored to be required – shown up front – to cover the acquisition and running costs for a season of GTP. On its own, that would filter out a number of parties as Porsche has made it known that it isn’t interested in selling 963s to collectors; it wants to know that whoever gets the nod has the funding in place to campaign the car without interruption.

Looking at the roster of major IndyCar teams that are both untethered to a GTP manufacturer and have the ability to raise significant budgets, Andretti Autosport and Arrow McLaren SP came to mind.

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