• First factory drivers announced for the forthcoming LMP1-Porsche race car
• Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas will commence testing the new car later this year
• LMP1-Porsche will contest the 2014 World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours, entered by Porsche factory team based in Weissach, Germany
• Keep up to date with the exciting LMP1-Porsche programme via www.porsche.com/mission2014
The first two Porsche factory race drivers to contest the top class of the 2014 sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours have been confirmed. Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) – each previous overall winners of Le Mans - will take the wheel of the new LMP1 prototype from Weissach in the 2014 season. Later this year, the two Porsche works drivers will commence testing the new Le Mans racer.
“Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are regarded as two of the fastest and most experienced sports car drivers in the world. I’m very pleased that we have these two men contesting the World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours for us from 2014,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board – Research and Development at Porsche AG.
“What I particularly appreciate about the two is their competence as test drivers. For this reason the pair is already closely integrated in the development programme of our new car and will embark on an intensive test schedule from the middle of this year,” said Fritz Enzinger, director LMP1-project.
Timo Bernhard comes from the Porsche junior driver development programme. In 1999, Porsche recognised the talent of the then 18-year-old and coached him in the Porsche Junior Team to become a professional race driver. In 2002, Bernhard was signed on as an official Porsche factory driver and since then has scored victories and Championship titles all over the world.
In 2010 he was voted ‘Race Driver of the Year’ for his outstanding achievements by the German ADAC automobile club. Bernhard is the only race driver to have clinched overall victory at all four of the most famous sports car classics. He won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2010, in 2003 the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2004, and a total of five times the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring – another record.
Romain Dumas joined the circle of Porsche factory drivers in 2004. Previously he attracted attention in single seater Formula 3 and Formula 3000 categories, as well as in international GT races and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. He is one of the most experienced drivers in the Le Mans 24 Hours; in fact, Dumas has contested his favourite race in France twelve times. With Timo Bernhard, he scored overall victory at the track in 2010 behind the wheel of an Audi.
Together, the duo also celebrated huge success in the United States racing the Porsche RS Spyder sports prototype. In 2007 and 2008, the two Porsche works drivers convincingly clinched the title in the American Le Mans Series. Bernhard also shared the cockpit with Dumas at four of his five wins at the Nürburgring 24 hour race. Moreover, in 2010 Dumas celebrated overall victory at Spa in a Porsche 911.
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With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans history. In 2014, Porsche will return to the world-famous venue with a works-run sports prototype race car in the top LMP1 category.
At the Porsche Motorsport headquarters in Weissach, near Stuttgart, Germany, preparations for the running of the new LMP1 sports prototype in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) are progressing at high revs.
To support this programme, the infrastructure at the Research & Development Centre has been considerably expanded with a new workshop building and an office complex completed. The first roll-out of the new LMP1 car is planned for mid-2013.
Following a re-structuring, the LMP1 project is realised by a new department headed by Fritz Enzinger. With his well-established organisational structure, Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, continues to be responsible for all other motorsport programmes worldwide.
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