Has Jörg Bergmeister ever pictured himself at the wheel of anything other than a 911 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans? A prototype, for instance? “No, not really and I doubt that will change!” he laughs. “I used to race Daytona Prototypes with Porsche engines in America, but with the prototypes here at Le Mans, I am a bit too tall!” the 6-foot-4-inch German admits.
Bergmeister’s love affair with the Porsche 911 began a quarter of a century ago. “I did my first race with the 911 in 1994 and have always loved racing it since then so I could not be happier. I think that in general the 911 is the perfect sportscar, and to be able to race it here at Le Mans is just amazing. Now the latest generation – a mid-engine car with good downforce – is very enjoyable. Through the years, the mechanical grip improved, aerodynamically the grip improved, the tyres improved a lot – it’s a global thing – the car was more reliable. I think that, in general, it is a lot better car than it used to be in the past.”
His co-drivers at the wheel of the #56 are Patrick Lindsey et Egidio Perfetti who consider Bergmeister as something of a 911 expert. “I am definitely trying to help both Egidio and Patrick. This is part of my job here and part of the fun!” Having graduated from Porsche’s single-marque series, Team Project 1 is enjoying a successful maiden World Endurance Championship campaign. Heading into the closing round of the Super Season, it tops the FIA Endurance Trophy rankings in the LMGTE Am class. “When it all came together, the team said that it would be a learning season. I said that if we get it right, we will be competitive from the first year on, and that needs to be the goal. We actually had a learning experience especially through the first two races. I am pretty happy with our performance, but we will see what happens.”
PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), PLACE DE LA REPUBLIQUE, SCRUTINEERING, MONDAY 10 JUNE 2019. Jörg Bergmeister has high hopes of securing his second class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans... 15 years after the first! And a FIA World Endurance Championship title into the bargain.