Turns out all the rumors were true. Porsche announced earlier this morning that Australian Formula 1 pilot Mark Webber has signed a contract with them that extends over several years. Starting in the 2014 season Webber will compete in Porsche’s new LMP1 sports prototype at the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC).
“It’s an honor for me to join Porsche at its return to the top category in Le Mans and in the sports car World Endurance Championship and be part of the team. Porsche has written racing history as a manufacturer and stands for outstanding technology and performance at the highest level,” says Mark Webber. “I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge after my time in Formula 1. Porsche will undoubtedly set itself very high goals. I can hardly wait to pilot one of the fastest sports cars in the world.”
Webber is no stranger to Le Mans having raced their twice before. In 1998, he finished runner-up in the FIA GT Championship at the wheel of a sports prototype. Over the course of his Formula 1 career from 2002 until today, Webber has achieved 36 podium places, nine race victories and has started from pole position eleven times.
“I’m very pleased to have secured Mark Webber for our LMP1 project as one of the best and most successful Formula 1 pilots of our time,” says Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG. “Mark is without doubt one of the world’s best race drivers, he has experience at the Le Mans 24 hour race and on top of that he’s been a Porsche enthusiast for many years.”
“I learned to appreciate Mark’s qualities when we were both involved in Formula 1,” says Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “He is one of the best pilots I could imagine for our team. I’m absolutely delighted that we have such an experienced and fast regular driver onboard from 2014.”
Porsche's Team is Shaping Up
Webber joins a growing team of exceptional drivers including the two long-standing Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) as well as the ex-Formula 1 test driver Neel Jani (Switzerland).
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Neel Jani Joins Porsche to Race the LMP1 at Le Mans in 2014