Porsche will take its most extensive motorsport programme in its history in to 2014, entering two works GT teams around the world alongside the new factory LMP1 project.
As well as the two 919 hybrid LMP1 machines, Porsche will also field two 911 RSR machines in the FIA World Endurance Championship under the AG Team Manthey banner, while Porsche North America teams up with CORE Autosport for the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Porsche Motorsport’s driver squad has also risen to a record size, with 20 drivers, including four Porsche juniors and a scholarship candidate from the global Porsche Carrera Cup series. All of the current Porsche factory drivers have received a contract for 2014.
“We are very proud of our strong international driver line-up,” said board member for Research and Development at Porsche AG, Wolfgang Hatz. “Three of the six drivers come from our own Porsche driver squad, two were even Porsche juniors. This is something we are particularly proud of.”
At the top of the driver list sits the six drivers who will pilot Porsche’s return to the prototype category at Le Mans. Brendon Hartley and Marc Lieb were the final two names announced for the project at Porsche’s Night of Champions in December, joining the previously confirmed drivers of Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Mark Webber.
“The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company’s embarkation into the hybrid future,” added Hatz. “With hybrid sports cars like the Cayenne in the SUV segment, the Panamera Gran Turismo, and the 918 Spyder super sports car, we are on the right track. But to continue leading the way in the future and to merge sportiness with sustainability, we need to keep learning. Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC regulations for the works-entered LMP1 prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future.”
For British Porsche fans, the current Autosport International at Birmingham’s NEC – being held until Sunday 12 January – hosts the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ‘Type 991’ ahead of its debut in the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship.
The 2014 Carrera Cup GB season will once again run as part of the British Touring Car Championship support package, with a sensational trip out to France alongside the Carrera Cup France in support of the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
Full details about the series available from the Porsche stand at Autosport International, located adjacent to the main Autosport stage. The new Porsche 911 GT3 will also make its debut at the NEC, having been named Autocar’s ‘Britain’s Best Driver’s Car’ and EVO’s ‘Car of the Year’ since going on sale last year.