24h Le Mans
10/12/2017 00:41

Four factory Porsche GTs to be fielded at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans

Mirroring Ford these last two years, Porsche announced at the Night of Champions - the end-of-year gala held at the German marque's headquarters in Weissach - that four 911 RSRs will take the start at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans (subject to approval by the Selection Committee), including one for the (re)constituted duo of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard.

Four factory Porsche GTs to be fielded at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans

After three cars in 2016, then two in 2017, Porsche will be back with a vengeance in the LMGTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 with as many as four 911 RSRs. Porsche's withdrawal from LMP1 has allowed the manufacturer to bet everything on GTs and strengthen its efforts on the backs of four previous winners, including two-time overall winners.

The arrival in 2017 of the new generation of the 911 RSR, now equipped with a central engine, failed to provide Porsche with a podium finish in LMGTE Pro, the most successful representative of the German marque finishing fourth behind three of its four rivals. Porsche fully intends to put an end to this downturn period of several years, its last victory at Le Mans dating back to 2013 with a driver line-up composed of now-retired Marc Lieb (currently serving on the other side of the line), Romain Dumas, both winners in 2016 with the Porsche 919 Hybrid, and Richard Lietz.

Lietz will share - for the full 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) - the wheel of the #91 car with his co-winner of the 2015 Endurance GT Drivers Cup (turned world championship on its own merit this year), Gianmaria Bruni, transferred from Ferrari. The Austro-Italian duo will be joined by Frédéric Makowiecki for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre, set to take the wheel of the #92 911 for the entire Super Season, will welcome Laurens Vanthoor, a driver in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Earl Bamber.

The two teammates will be opponents at the 24 Hours since the New Zealander will join Nick Tandy, with whom he shared the first of his two Le Mans victories in 2015, but who he competes against in the U.S.! French driver Patrick Pilet, 2015 champion in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTLM class, and the Brit's partner across the Atlantic, will round out the trio in the #93 car at the 24 Hours.

Another pair set to reunite at Le Mans is Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, winners in 2010 with Audi, confirmed to take the wheel of the #94 911 with young driver Sven Müller. The German, in 2017, and the Frenchman, in 2016, have each individually won at the 24 Hours, but they certainly wouldn't say no to a joint vcitory…

FIA World Endurance Championship

#91 911 RSR 
Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz

#92 911 RSR 
Michael Christensen 
Kévin Estre

24 Hours of Le Mans

#91 911 RSR 
Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz
Frédéric Makowiecki

#92 911 RSR 
Michael Christensen
Kévin Estre
Laurens Vanthoor

#93 911 RSR 
Earl Bamber
Patrick Pilet
Nick Tandy

#94 911 RSR 
Timo Bernhard
Romain Dumas
Sven Müller

IMSA WeatherTech Championship

#911 911 RSR 
Patrick Pilet
Nick Tandy
Frédéric Makowiecki (for the North American Endurance Cup)

#912 911 RSR 
Earl Bamber
Laurens Vanthoor
Gianmaria Bruni (for the North American Endurance Cup)

Intercontinental GT Challenge

#911 911 GT3 R 
Romain Dumas
Frédéric Makowiecki
Dirk Werner

Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup

#911 911 GT3 R 
Romain Dumas
Frédéric Makowiecki
Dirk Werner 

PHOTO (Copyright - Porsche): The factory Porsche drivers for the 2018 season gathered on the stage at the Night of Champions.

24 Heures du Mans - 16/17 june 2018 - Ticketing

Cécile Bonardel
translated by Nikki Ehrhardt
written by Cécile Bonardel
  • #Le Mans 24 Hours
  • #FIA WEC
  • #WTSCC

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