Nico Hulkenberg will combine his fulltime Formula 1 duties with a couple of ventures into the World Endurance Championship in 2015, with the German having been confirmed to race the third Porsche 919 Hybrid at both the Six Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 27-year-old will become the first active Formula 1 driver to compete at Le Mans since 2009 when the race takes place at the Sarthe on June 13th/14th, but will first race for the team in Spa-Francorchamps on May 2nd.
Hulkenberg thanked his Sahara Force India team for allowing him the opportunity to race at Le Mans, and was pleased the F1 calendar allows him to do double duty, with no race scheduled on that weekend.
“Porsche and Le Mans – this combination probably attracts every race driver,” said Hulkenberg. “I’ve been a Porsche fan for a long time and have been watching their return to the LMP1 class closely. The desire grew to drive that car at Le Mans.
“I am very pleased the 2015 Formula One calendar allows for it and I’m grateful to my Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments.”
Porsche Team Principal Andreas Seidl was delighted to be able to announce Hulkenberg as a Porsche driver for Spa and Le Mans, and is looking to prepare the German for his bow in Endurance racing, especially when it comes to dealing with slower traffic from the other classes on the grid.
“Having caught the interest of another world class driver like Nico is validation for the job the entire Porsche LMP1 crew had done in our first WEC season,” said Seidl. “Now we will prepare Nico for his new challenges such as dealing with the traffic of the slower GT cars and racing into the Le Mans night. We have got a road map in place, which should enable him to exploit his driving abilities at his Le Mans debut.
“We’re looking forward to working with Nico and we want to thank the Sahara Force India F1 Team and team principal Vijay Mallya for loaning him to us.”