Porsche have had their Night of Champions celebrations tonight, and as tradition dictates, announced their plans for the upcoming season.
Even though Porsche has shut down their LMP1 programme, they’re putting a huge effort into the GT classes at Le Mans, where they will enter some amazing line-ups in 2018.
All cars for the FIA WEC and Le Mans are of course at the discretion of the organizers giving them an entry. But with a historic brand like Porsche, they should be quite sure with such a line-up and seriousness that the German brand always delivers.
The FIA WEC season will consist of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni in the #91, while Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre will return in the #92. Both these line-ups will be for the full 2018/19 season.
At Le Mans 2018 they will be joined by Fred Makowiecki in the #91, while Laurens Vanthoor joins the #92 crew.
Porsche will also enter the two IMSA cars, which also have some amazing driver combos. Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber will share the #93, while Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Sven Müller will pilot the #94 around the French countryside.
It may sound a bit strange for Porsche to break up the Lietz/Makowiecki combination in the FIA WEC, since they just recently drove home a second place in the Championship in 2017. It was however very clear from Day 1 of the hire of Bruni, that he would be a part of the WEC line-up in 2018, so the question was only, who would have to yield. #92 didn’t have a good season at all with technical issues and collisions. But Porsche has chosen to keep the two young drivers for another season, but that must be with maximum pressure on both to perform, since they otherwise most likely will have to give up the WEC seats in the 2019/20 season.
In the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship we will have Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet in the #911 throughout the season, while Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor will share #912.
For the TPNAEC races, Fred Makowiecki will be added to the #911 line-up, and Gianmaria Bruni will be in the #912 at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.
That is something close to the strongest possible line-up that you can get. All 12 drivers are among the very best GT drivers in the world, and the cars will not be driven at 99,8% but rather 100,2% all the time.
More Porsche news are expected later this evening, regarding privateers in both Europe and USA.