Porsche’s World Endurance Championship (WEC) performance shortfall was starkly evident at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with the German marque trailing behind in the standings.
The race, which began on March 16, saw Porsche’s two-car LMP1 class entry finish fourth and fifth, while Toyota Gazoo Racing took the top two spots.
The results suggest that the WEC gap between the two teams has widened since the 2018-2019 season, when both teams finished first and second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Porsche’s deficit, it seems, is particularly noticeable in the sportscar endurance discipline.
Speaking after the race, Toyota’s driving force Sebastien Buemi was candid in his assessment of Porsche’s current standing.
“It’s very obvious that we have an advantage at the moment,” said the Swiss driver. “They have to improve their car, and hopefully they will.”
Buemi went on to express his admiration for the Porsche team, noting that the WEC is a fiercely competitive series, and that it’s always a challenge to stay ahead of the competition.
Porsche’s plight, however, has been compounded by the fact that the German marque has been unable to keep pace with the technological advancement of its rivals.
Toyota, for instance, has been able to make significant improvements to its hybrid powertrain, while Porsche has struggled to find the same level of success with its petrol-powered engine.
The result has been a significant gap in performance between the two teams, which was clearly visible at Sebring.
It remains to be seen if Porsche can close the gap in time for the next round of the WEC at Spa-Francorchamps in May. If not, it will be a major setback for the German marque, which is seeking to reclaim its place at the top of the sportscar endurance world.