Last November Porsche announced they would enter a third 919 Hybrid at both Le Mans and the Six-Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Shortly after that announcement we learned that Nico Hülkenberg, an active F1 driver, was signed as a driver for Porsche's third LMP1 entry. Then, during the annual "Night of Champions Dinner, Porsche let it be known that they would look to their own ranks for the other two LMP1 pilots. Today they made good on that promise and announced that Earl Bamber (24, New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (30, Great Britain) will join Hülkenberg at Le Mans and Spa. Both Bamber and Tandy have been testing the 919 Hybrid and will remain active as Porsche works drivers in the GT category.
Fritz Enzinger, LMP1 Vice President, explained: “It goes without saying that each of these drivers is fast and clever. But in the WEC, and especially in Le Mans, there are more qualities to be taken into account. The ability to stay focused constantly and to deliver consistent performances are must-haves for endurance racing. Another factor is team spirit and the skills to integrate into the team. This sport doesn’t make sense for loners. Each driver always has to take into account his teammates, as their individual speeds are what in the end are reflected by the Porsche Team’s results. Also a strong understanding is required of the skills and consequences when lapping slower cars. This isn’t for egocentrics either. Drivers have to view everything as the bigger picture. In every regard, I have full faith in our driver line-up.”
At the same press conference where the driver announcement was made, the ACO (the Le Mans organizers, the Automobil Club de l’Ouest) confirmed the car numbers requested for the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The trio of Timo Bernhard (33, Germany), Brendon Hartley (25, New Zealand) and Mark Webber (38, Australia) gets number 17. Number 18 goes to the – also unchanged from 2014 – driver combination of Romain Dumas (37, France), Neel Jani (31, Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (34, Germany). The third car with Hülkenberg, Bamber and Tandy will compete in Spa and Le Mans with number 19.
The next evolution of the Porsche 919 Hybrid will be officially presented on March 26th on the Circuit Paul Ricard circuit in Southern France. The next two days will see the first joint test for the entire 2015 WEC field, the so called "prologue". Porsche is excited to experience the first encounter with the competition’s works cars.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
Here’s The Revamped Porsche 919 Hybrid For The 2015 Season
Porsche Signs F1 Driver Nico Hülkenberg for 2015 Le Mans. Who’s Next?
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