Porsche has revealed that factory drivers Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are to join the factory Audi team for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
The pair, who are contesting the Grand Am Rolex Series this season with the Penske Racing team after spending recent years at the wheel of the Porsche RS Spyder in the ALMS, will share driving duties in one of the new Audi R15 TDIs on what will be the cars debut at La Sarthe.
Bernhard has already tasted victory at Le Mans in the GT2 class, but he said he was looking forward to the chance to now fight for overall honours.
“The Le Mans 24 Hour event is the only long distance race that I haven't yet won the overall classification,” he said. “I'm absolutely thrilled to fight for victory this year with the Audi R15 TDI.
“At the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring two weeks ago, I could already see that the R15 was a fast and reliable car. Now I can't wait for the first test drives.”
Dumas has competed at Le Mans for the Pescarolo team in recent season and he admitted he was thrilled by the chance to join one of the top teams for an assault on the big race.
“As a Frenchman, the Le Mans 24 Hours has a very special meaning,” he said. “Every young driver dreams of climbing to the top of the podium in Le Mans.
“I'm ecstatic to be driving a winning car. Thanks to Porsche and Audi who have both made this possible.”
Head of Porsche motorsport Hartmut Kristen said he was happy to allow to of his drivers to cross over to Audi for the event, adding that he felt it was a move that would be beneficial to both parties.
“Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are without doubt two of the best drivers at the wheel of a sports prototype,” he said. “That's why we are happy to lend them to our colleagues in Ingolstadt. Now the co-operation between the Porsche and Audi brands will also bear fruit in motorsport.”