Porsche has just announced the conclusion of its 2013 development program for the new 2014 LMP1 race car. Former Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Mark Webber tested the 2014 Porsche LMP1 at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve near Portimao, Portugal. In a succinct Twitter message, Mark Webber wrote on his "Aussie Grit" account: "Next chapter. Enjoyed driving her today."

"My first day in this fascinating project was an intense experience for me," said Webber. "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."

"We always knew it wasn't going to be easy to return to top endurance racing after 16 years," said Porsche R&D Chief Wolfgang Hatz. "We are finding new approaches in the development, implementation and application of leading edge tech. Ultimately, our customers will benefit the most."

Performance figures on the Porsche LMP1 are not revealed. Even then, we will not have a true grasp of its pace until its first WEC race in 2014, which will start in April 2014. No doubt, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the most important race of the calendar.

According to WEC regulations, LMP1 class race cars must run hybrid powertrains. However, Porsche has pushed the boundaries even further by mating its two energy recuperation system hybrid powertrain to a logic-defying direct-injection 2.0 liter 4-cylinder petrol engine. In comparison, reigning champion Audi R18 E-tron Quattro has dominated Le Mans thanks to its near-perfect 3.7 liter V6 diesel-hybrid powertrain.

The difference in technical approach is so significant that we can't help but wonder whether Porsche is onto something big. Time will tell whether Porsche will once again dominate the sport. In the meantime, watch this video of the 2014 Porsche LMP1 testing: