25 November 2014
Le Mans: Porsche confirms third LMP for Spa, Le Mans
Porsche has confirmed rumours that it will add a third 919 Hybrid LMP to its regular entry for both the Le Mans 24 Hours and Spa 6 Hours next season.
As rumoured, Porsche has announced that it will field a third 919 Hybrid LMP1 at the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, with a dress rehearsal also scheduled at the six-hour World Endurance Championship event at Spa-Francorchamps in 2 May.
Despite speculation last week that the car could be crewed by some of the marque's most promising GT drivers, no final decision has yet been taken on the line-up for the third car. However, current factory drivers Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Brendon Hartley, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Mark Webber will all continue to share the first two entries.
“Our decision to compete with a Porsche works team in the WEC LMP1 category proved to be the right one,” Matthias Müller, chairman of the board, commented, “This is what we feel at every race.
“The highly demanding motorsport programme contributes directly to the development of future sportscars for the road. For the development and testing of future hybrid systems, you can't ask for any harder test bench than the World Endurance Championship, and especially the Le Mans 24 Hours. The same goes for the newly-established Porsche LMP1 crew. More than 230 people had to grow together quickly to form a strong team. The human factor is not only crucial for the men at the steering wheel, but for the entire project – and this reflects very much the Porsche philosophy.”
With Porsche still having a crew in the hunt for runners-up honours in the 2014 WEC drivers' championship, the decision to return to LMP competition has been justified, leading to the decision to increase the entry for two of next year's biggest events.
“In 2014, we have been competitive immediately with the most complex and innovative race car Porsche has built so far,” R&D head Wolfgang Hatz confirmed, “To date, we have achieved five podium places, three pole positions and two record laps, in Shanghai and Bahrain. These are outstanding results, but this LMP1 programme doesn't just produce success on race tracks, but also on the engineering side. The target is the highest performance with maximised efficiency in ever growing dimensions. This is why we will take on the challenge with three Porsche 919 Hybrids in 2015.”
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