Porsche has revealed the first two drivers who will be at the wheel of its new LMP1 machine in the World Endurance Championship for the 2014 season.
Long-time factory men Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas will both step up to the LMP1 programme next year having enjoyed years of success in Porsche's GT machinery.
The pair also shared driving duties in the successful Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 programme in the American Le Mans Series – taking the championship title in both 2007 and 2008 – and teamed together to win the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours while 'on loan' with the factory Audi team.
Both drivers are expected to take part in testing of the new car when it appears on track later this year.
“Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are regarded as some of the fastest and most experienced sports car pilots in the world,” Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board – Research and Development at Porsche AG, said. “I'm very pleased that we have these two men contesting the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours for us from 2014.”
Fritz Enzinger, director of the LMP1 project, said the experience of the duo as test drivers had been keen to them being signed up to the programme.
“I particularly appreciate about the two is their competence as test drivers,” he said. “For this reason the pair is already closely integrated in the development programme of our new car and will embark on an intensive test schedule from the middle of this year.”
Current Red Bull F1 racer Mark Webber has been linked with the Porsche programme, although the German marque has so far denied that any deal has been done.