Porsche Team Manthey will tackle the FIA World Endurance Championship‘s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 2, whilst Porsche North America will enter the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca on May 3, and the two teams are set to re-shuffle their driver line-ups ahead of the event.
For the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the opening round of this year’s World Endurance Championship, the #91 Porsche 911 RSR was piloted by Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen, whilst the #92 car was driven by Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet.
This is set to change, and the #91 will have Sven Müller and Kévin Estre behind the wheel. Makowiecki will stay in the #92, and will be joined by Lietz, who moves across from the #91 car.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Christensen and Pilet will enter the Laguna Seca round of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, again in a 911 RSR. This is because Porsche’s usual USCC drivers, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy will join ex-Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg in the third Porsche 919 Hybrid in LMP1 at Spa, in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
In the WEC GTE-Am class, the Porsche line-ups will remain the same as Silverstone, with the #77 Dempsey Racing-Proton piloted by Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long and Marco Seefried and the #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing car raced by Christian Ried, Khaled Al Qubaisi and Klaus Bachler.
“Two important races on two continents within one week is an exceptional situation to which we’ve had to find a flexible solution to the cockpit combinations. Fortunately, we have some well-trained race drivers in our brand trophy series on hand and we’re convinced we can rely on them in such cases,” says Head of Porsche Motorsport, Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser.
“Thanks to his solid performances, Sven Müller has earned the chance to pit himself in the 911 RSR against the world’s best sports car pilots. His progress is not just another example of the success of our Porsche youth development concept. It also underlines the importance of the Porsche one-make cup series as a launching platform for young drivers. His example shows yet again: Porsche opens all doors to those who are really fast.”
“It’s a dream come true for me,” says Sven Müller, who was the best rookie last year in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and winner of the Monza race for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “When I was given the chance to drive the 911 RSR for the first time in the pre-season tests in Le Castellet, I was already nervous. But that subsided pretty quickly. The Porsche Manthey team made me feel very welcome. My first laps at the wheel of the 911 RSR were a fantastic and important experience. Now I can’t wait to race in Spa.”
Kévin Estre, who will join Müller at Spa, won the 2011 French Carrera Cup and Rookie of the Year in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Furthermore, he won the title of the Carrera Cup Deutschland, and so has plenty of experience with the German marque.
“Spa is always a highlight on the racing calendar” says Makowiecki. “It’s a fabulous race track and not just because of Eau Rouge. In Spa you always have to expect rain at some point over the weekend. But that just makes it more interesting and even more exciting.”
“I didn’t race in Spa last year, so I’ll need a couple of laps to get myself back up to speed on this great circuit,” adds Lietz. “Spa is without doubt one of my favourite race tracks, it’s very long and extremely challenging – it’s a real drivers’ track. I’m looking forward to it.”
The 2nd round of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship will take place as the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 2, and on the following day will be the 2015 Tudor United SportsCar Championship’s 4th race of the season, the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, a 2 hour 4o minute race at Laguna Seca in California.