SYDNEY: Mark Webber has received an early first taste of the Porsche he'll drive in next year's World Endurance Championship.

Having recently completed his 12-year Formula One career, Webber got behind the wheel of the new LMP1 race car at a test day in Algarve, Portugal.

While still contracted to F1 team Red Bull Racing until the end of 2013, the Australian was given the green light to complete the test for the German manufacturer.

He hadn't been scheduled to drive the car until January, when he officially joins the Porsche factory team.

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

"I would like to thank Red Bull Racing for giving me the chance to join the project so early.

"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."

Head of Porsche LMP1 Fritz Enzinger said he was "delighted" to have Webber in the team for the final scheduled test of the year.

Webber is one of four confirmed drivers for the two-car, six-driver Porsche LMP1 campaign - alongside Germany's Timo Bernhard, Frenchman Romain Dumas and Switzerland's Neel Jani.

Two more drivers are expected to be announced this weekend.

The 37-year-old Webber wrapped up his 12-year F1 career with a second-place finish behind teammate Sebastian Vettel at the Brazilian GP last month.

AAP