Porsche retirements and new hires etc

Porsche held their annual season-ending party in Stuttgart, where the 2019 season was closed down, and looking forward to 2020.

When you say Porsche – at least for the last twenty years – you often think about Jörg Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard. These two will go into retirement now, but will still be present at Porsche, becoming brand ambassadors. Bergmeister will be helping out on new road car development, while Bernhard will continue running his own KÜS Team75 Bernhard team in ADAC GT Masters.

43-year-old Bergmeister and 38-year-old Bernhard have been works drivers for Porsche since 2020, but they have been driving for other brands, like when Bernhard was lent out to Audi Sport, where he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2010 with another Porsche driver, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller. Bernhard went on to win again in 2017 for Porsche. He also won the World Championship with Porsche in 2015 and 2017, and was inducted in the FIA Hall Of Fame earlier this week. He was also the driver behind the wheel of a special version of the Porsche 919 Le Mans car, setting a new unofficial lap record on the Nordschleife in Germany in 2018.

Bergmeister has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, as well as the 12 Hours of Sebring three times. His greatest achievements have been in the USA. He won the GT2 title in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 – three of those with Patrick Long.

Last but not least, Porsche said an official goodbye to Brendon Hartley, who has been under Porsche contract since 2014. Hartley got the opportunity to race Formula 1 for Toro Rosso at the end of 2017 plus 2018, before signing a contract with Toyota Gazoo Racing in FIA WEC, and GEOX Dragon in Formula E in 2019.

Those were the three drivers who won’t be present for the team, but there two new drivers arriving. Ayhancan Güven and Jaxon Evans are new drivers in the Porsche family. They have the status of Porsche Juniors and will be racing in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2020.

Julien Andlauer has been upgraded from Junior to Young Professional, while Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet have been upgraded from Young Professionals to official works drivers.

Porsche 2020
Photo: Porsche Motorsport

Porsche aims at entering four works cars for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 – the pair from FIA WEC and the pair from the IMSA series. FIA WEC are not even halfway through the season, so there are no changes with Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz in #91, while Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre continue in #92.

Nick Tandy will have a new teammate in the  IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in #911. French driver Patrick Pilet will be replaced by fellow countryman Frederic Makowiecki. Makowiecki has been the third driver in the IMSA series for the past season, but he has otherwise been a bit here, there and everywhere. They will be joined by Matt Campbell for the endurance rounds, where a third driver is needed.

Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor will continue in #912. BamThor has become a brand, with the two drivers selling their own merchandise, so it’s only natural for them to continue. Oh, and by the way, they did win the IMSA GTLM title in 2019, so why change a winning team… They will be joined by Mathieu Jaminet in the longer races. It is however not certain that the two IMSA cars will run with the exact same pairing at Le Mans 2020, since the IMSA drivers have been picked for the works cars #91 and #92 in the past – like when Vanthoor won Le Mans 2019 with Christensen and Estre.

KÜS Team75 Bernhard will continue in ADAC GT Masters, but Klaus Bachler will have a new teammate. Simona de Silvestro will replace Timo Bernhard in the driving seat. There are not yet any news regarding the other car on the team. Matteo Cairoli and Adrien De Leener shared that car in 2019.

Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner, Thomas Preining and Matteo Cairoli are selected for Intercontinental GT Challenge duties.

Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani will continue in their ABB FIA Formula E Championship programme, which is the latest addition to the Porsche racing programme. The series only started in November, with the majority of the season being run in spring and summer 2020.

The rest of the drivers will be spread all over the world, whenever somebody needs a Porsche driver – like in the European Le Mans Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. And of course, there are some needed for VLN and the Nürburging 24 Hours too.

Porsche works drivers
Earl Bamber (29/New Zealand)
Gianmaria Bruni (38/Italy)
Matt Campbell (24/Australia)
Michael Christensen (29/Denmark)
Romain Dumas (41/France)
Kévin Estre (31/France)
Mathieu Jaminet (25/France)
Neel Jani (35/Switzerland)
Richard Lietz (35/Austria)
Patrick Long (38/USA)
André Lotterer (38/Germany)
Frédéric Makowiecki (39/France)
Sven Müller (27/Germany)
Patrick Pilet (38/France)
Simona de Silvestro (31/Switzerland)
Nick Tandy (35/Great Britain)
Laurens Vanthoor (28/Belgium)
Dirk Werner (38/Germany)

Porsche Young Professionals
Thomas Preining (21/Austria)
Julien Andlauer (20/France)

Porsche Juniors
Jaxon Evans (23/New Zealand)
Ayhancan Güven (21/Turkey)

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