Le Mans » 4 February 2013
Porsche excited by Le Mans return
Porsche excited by a return to Le Mans with a factory team for the first time since the late 1990s
Head of Porsche motorsport Hartmut Kristen says he is excited at the prospect of a works team running at Le Mans for the first time since 1998 after the entry list for this summers 24 Hours was confirmed.
Porsche announced plans to run a factory team in the GTE class back in December ahead of its planned move into the LMP1 class when new rules come into play in 2014, with the ACO confirming that the entry had been successful during Friday's press conference.
Two cars – based on the Type 991 version of the iconic 911 - will run in the full World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans, under the Porsche Ag Team Manthey banner.
Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Pilet will share driving duties in the #91 car, with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz in the #92 entry.
Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas will then complete the respective line-ups for the races at Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans.
“We are very much looking forward to returning to Le Mans with a Porsche works team for the first time since 1998,” Kristen said. “The new 911 RSR performed well in earlier tests and is already proving extremely reliable on the track.
“Between them, our six drivers have scored eight class wins in Le Mans and have a great deal of experience with different 911 race cars. And our customer teams in the GTE-Am class are also well prepared for the 2013 season.”
Aside from the factory effort, the IMSA Performance MATMUT and Proton Competition teams will both run the older Type 997 model in the WEC and at Le Mans in the GTE-Am class.
A second IMSA Performance MATMUT car will also compete at Le Mans, with the Porsche challenge completed by Dempsey/Del Piero Racing – which has teamed up with the Proton team to run a car under the Dempsey Racing-Proton banner.
The Le Mans deal marks a change in direction for the American team, which will also run a two car Porsche team in the GTC class of the ALMS during the 2013 campaign having previously campaigned an LMP2 class Lola last year.
“Our entire team is excited to work with Porsche, Michelin and the Proton Competition team to bring our 24 Hours of Le Mans goal to fruition,” team owner, and Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempey, said. “This news, combined with the opportunity I have to run with Andy Lally in the ALMS, gives our new programme with Alessandro Del Piero added excitement for sure. It should be an exciting 2013 for all of us.”
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