Shortly after strongly denying rumors that Mark Webber is moving away from F1 and signing onto endurance racing, Porsche today announced the first two drivers in their 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour line-up. The first two “pilots” to contest the top class of the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 hour race are Le Mans overall winners Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France). Each will take the wheel of the new LMP1 vehicle from Weissach in the 2014 season. The two will begin testing the new racer at some point later this year.
“Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are regarded as some of the fastest and most experienced sports car pilots in the world. I’m very pleased that we have these two men contesting the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours for us from 2014”, says Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board – Research and Development at Porsche AG. “I particularly appreciate about the two is their competence as test drivers. For this reason the pair is already closely integrated in the development program of our new car and will embark on an intensive test schedule from the middle of this year”, says Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project.
About Timo Bernhard
Timo comes from Porsche’s own junior development program. In 1999, Porsche recognized the talent of the then 18-year-old and coached him in the Porsche Junior Team to become a professional race driver. In 2002, Bernhard was signed on as a works driver and since then has notched up victories and championship titles all over the world. In 2010 he was voted “Race Driver of the Year” by Germany’s automobile club ADAC for his outstanding achievements. Bernhard is the only race driver to have clinched overall victory at all four of the most famous sports car classics. He won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010, in 2003 the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2004, and a total of five times at the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring – another record.
About Romain Dumas
Romain joined the circle of Porsche factory drivers in 2004. Previously he attracted attention in the Formula 3, Formula 3000, at international GT races as well as the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. He is one of the most experienced pilots at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All together, Dumas has contested his favorite race at La Sarthe twelve times. With Timo Bernhard, he scored overall victory there in 2010 at the wheel of an Audi. Together, the pair also celebrated huge successes in the U.S. in the RS Spyder sports prototype. In 2007 and 2008, the two Porsche works drivers convincingly clinched the title in the American Le Mans Series. Bernhard shared the cockpit with Dumas at four of his five wins at the Nürburgring 24 hour race. Moreover, in 2010 Dumas celebrated overall victory in Spa at the wheel of a Porsche 911.
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