This also applies to the team leaders and the six factory drivers who will drive the two examples of the Porsche 919 Hybrid entering the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LM P1 (Austria, age 57) - This native of Styria was employed in the services of BMW for thirty years. He was in positions of responsibility in touring car victories at Le Mans 1999 and in Formula-1 successes. At the end of 2011, he switched to Porsche and began to build up the LM P1 project in Weissach, organising everything from scratch.
Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director of LMP1 (Germany, age 42) - At the end of 2011, he turned his back on the Formula 1 to join Porsche. His positions included “Head of F1 Development" for the English race car engine builder Cosworth and most recently “Head of Advanced Technologies" at Red Bull Racing.
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal (Germany, age 38) - At BMW, Seidl was responsible for testing and race events in Formula 1 racing. When the company returned to DTM racing, he was racing director and immediately attained the championship title. Mission completed. At Porsche, he found a new challenge.
Romain Dumas, driver of the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°14 (France, age 36) - Romain Dumas' resume includes seven overall victories in 24-hour races – the Le Mans win in an Audi along with Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller in 2010, four times at the Nürburgring and twice at Spa in Porsche cars.
Neel Jani, driver of the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°14 (Switzerland, age 30) - A Swiss citizen with Indian roots, an experienced endurance driver, who was hooked on Porsche even as a child. Sunday excursions on the back seat of his father's 911 shaped his future. In 2012, Neel Jani finished fourth place at Le Mans with Rebellion Rebellion. “At Le Mans, it is only possible to compete for the overall victory with a top factory team."
Marc Lieb, driver of the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°14 (Germany, age 33) - As a 20-year-old, the native of Stuttgart won the Porsche Junior Driver Selection. Since then, Marc Lieb has celebrated Porsche victories across the globe, including five overall victories at 24-hour races: four times at the Nürburgring and once in Spa. At Le Mans, he won in the GT class with Porsche – now he wants to compete in the top category there as well.
Timo Bernhard, driver of the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°20 (Germany, age 33) - In 2010, Timo Bernhard was part of the victorious Audi team at Le Mans together with Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller. “To do this with Porsche would be awesome. It's impossible to describe my enthusiasm for the brand."
Brendon Hartley, driver of the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°20 (New Zealand, age 24) - For Brendon Hartley, the most emotional race in the world is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “A rollercoaster of feelings; never have I seen so many grown-up men with tears in their eyes."
Mark Webber, driver of the Porsche 919 Hybrid N°20 (Australia, age 37) - This Formula 1 star (with 215 Grand Prix races, 13 pole positions and nine victories) still has a score to settle at Le Mans. In 1999, he rolled over twice in his AMG Mercedes CLR due to an aerodynamic problem. What Porsche means to Mark Webber: “Super highly developed sports cars that can make do without overstatement – perfect."
(Based upon Porsche press information)
For more stories of Porsche at Le Mans, please visit Mission 2014 – Our Return.
The 82nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 14-15, 2014 (ticket information and entry list).
Photo : The Porsche 919 Hybrid is ready to welcome its drivers in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the seven other rounds of the FIA WEC.