16 December 2013
Porsche completes World Endurance line-up
Porsche confirms the signing of Marc Lieb and Brendon Hartley to its LMP1 race programme for the 2014 World Endurance Championship season
Porsche has completed the line-up for its new LMP1 programme with the announcement that Marc Lieb and Brendon Hartley will be the final two drivers to complete in the newly-named 919 hybrid in 2014.
The announcement that the pair were the fifth and sixth drivers to be signed to the programme was made during the Porsche Night of Champions event in Weissach over the course of the weekend, with the duo joining Mark Webber, Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard.
Lieb is a long-time Porsche factory driver, while Hartley makes the move to Porsche having impressed on track with the Murphy Prototypes LMP2 team.
“We are very proud of our strong international driver line-up,” Porsche board member for Research and Development Wolfgang Hatz said. “Three of the six drivers come from our own Porsche driver squad, two were even Porsche juniors. This is something we are particularly proud of.
“The vehicle name 919 hybrid follows on from the tradition of the Le Mans-winning 917, but it is also with a view to the 918 Spyder, and acknowledges the company's embarkation into the hybrid future. With hybrid sports cars like the Cayenne as a SUV, the Grand Touring Panamera, and the 918 Spyder three-litre super sportscar, we are on the right track. But to continue leading the way in the future and to merge sportiness with sustainability, we need to keep learning.
“Maximum efficiency in energy consumption is the directive of the new WEC regulations for the works-entered class 1 prototypes – and that is also the direction for the automobile future.”
Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1, explained: “We had a substantial number of applicants from all classes for the two 919 hybrids. We were looking for experience, sheer speed, technical understanding, and we wanted team players because this is more important in endurance racing than in any discipline.”
Having been linked to a drive for some time, Hartley – who also acts as a test driver for the Mercedes F1 team – said he was delighted to have the chance to join the Porsche programme.
“I'm incredibly proud that Porsche has chosen me,” he said. “I was deeply impressed at my first outing in Le Mans. But to compete there in the LMP1 for an iconic company like Porsche is another dimension completely.”
Lieb meanwhile said it was a dream to be confirmed as one of the LMP1 drivers given his success with the marque in GT competition.
“I have been fortunate enough to celebrate victories with Porsche all over the world, even in the GT class at Le Mans,” he said. “People there always asked when we would return to the LMP1 class. Since the project was given the go-ahead, I only wanted one thing: to be involved. Le Mans and Porsche, I can't even begin to describe how excited this makes me feel.”
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