Porsche Announces 2017 Driver Lineup
Porsche has announced its driver lineup for 2017 during a ‘Night of Champions’ gala, celebrating the achievements of 2016, in Weissach. From its LMP ambitions down to its youth development programme, Porsche has laid out in no uncertain terms its continuing commitment to motorsport.
Porsche Motorsport LMP returns in 2017 as defending champions to tackle the nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). As with this year, the reigning Porsche 919 Hybrids will compete with the starting numbers one and two. Behind the wheel of these cars, however, there are significant changes with what looks to be one of the strongest LMP driver combinations for Porsche in recent memory.
As we recently reported, stalwarts Romain Dumas, Mark Lieb and Mark Webber depart the LMP1 lineup. Their replacements, however, consist of three considerably talented endurance drivers, two of whom hail from Porsche’s existing factory squad. New Zealander Earl Bamber and Britain’s Nick Tandy joined forces with Formula 1 driver, Nico Hülkenberg, to take victory in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. Completing the new LMP driver lineup is Porsche newcomer André Lotterer – a highly experienced WEC campaigner who has won Le Mans three times and, in 2012, was crowned champion of the WEC with the Audi works team.
Lotterer and Tandy will share driving duties in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid with the reigning World Endurance Champion Neel Jani. Joining the two New Zealanders, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley in the cockpit of the #2 vehicle, is Timo Bernhard from Germany. The car itself has received an overhaul with new aero among other new components, and it will make its public debut at the WEC prologue at Monza on March 23rd.
Changes in the GT Class
With Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy moving into the WEC, Porsche has enlisted the services of Dirk Werner, who drove for the brand between 2004 and 2009, securing several titles along the way. He has most recently been competing in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship for BMW with some success. Alongside Werner, experienced long-distance racer, Belgian Laurens Vanthoor, has joined the GT squad. Sven Müller completes the new driver lineup having achieved promotion from Porsche junior to works driver after competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and clinching victory in the 2016 Mobil 1 Supercup Championship.
2017 FIA WEC GT Titles
In addition to its LMP1 commitments, Porsche will also send a factory squad to the 2017 FIA WEC rounds to tackle the GT world championship titles for the best driver and the most successful manufacturer, which will be awarded for the first time. “This is a significant boost for our motorsport involvement and underlines that we have chosen the right platform with the WEC,” said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG. The Porsche Motorsport GT team will campaign a pair of new 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. The drivers confirmed so far for these seats are Michael Christensen, Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.
Porsche Pilots 2017
|LMP1 – 919 Hybrid #1|
|Neel Jani (32)||Switzerland|
|André Lotterer (35)||Germany|
|Nick Tandy (32)||Great Britain|
|LMP1 – 919 Hybrid #2|
|Earl Bamber (26)||New Zealand|
|Timo Bernhard (35)||Germany|
|Brendon Hartley (27)||New Zealand|
|GT works drivers|
|Jörg Bergmeister (40)||Germany|
|Michael Christensen (26)||Denmark|
|Romain Dumas (38)||France|
|Kévin Estre (28)||France|
|Wolf Henzler (41)||Germany|
|Richard Lietz (32)||Austria|
|Frédéric Makowiecki (36)||France|
|Sven Müller (24)||Germany|
|Patrick Pilet (35)||France|
|Patrick Long (35)||USA|
|Laurens Vanthoor (25)||Belgium|
|Dirk Werner (35)||Germany|
|Matteo Cairoli (20)||Italy|
|Mathieu Jaminet (22)||France|
|Matt Campbell (21)||Australia|
|Dennis Olsen (20)||Norway|
|Thomas Preining (18)||Austria|