Porsche enters the 2014 World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with four factory cars.
Today the Le Mans organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in Paris, announced the list of competitors selected to participate in the 82nd edition of the classic long-distance race on June 14 and 15, 2014. Porsche has registered its new works team for the two 919 Hybrid cars as “Porsche Team” in the top category of Le Mans prototypes (LMP1). The start numbers for the innovative hybrid sports cars are 14 and 20. The works team for the two 911 RSR entries in the GTE Pro class is called “Porsche Team Manthey”. Last year’s one-two class finishers will start again this year with numbers 91 and 92.
Bernhard and Dumas split forces
Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (car number 14) and Timo Bernhard (car number 20) are each assigned to a different Le Mans prototype in the WEC. This series comprises eight races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result, each of the two 919 Hybrid cars will be piloted by a Le Mans overall winner: Dumas (France, 36) and Bernhard (Germany, 33) both achieved this success with Audi in 2010. The other four LMP1 Porsche works drivers –
Brendon Hartley (New Zealand, 24), Neel Jani (Switzerland, 30), Marc Lieb (Germany, 33) and Mark Webber (Australia, 37) – will take turns at the wheel during the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship with the final lineup yet to be determined.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl explained in Paris:
“It was an obvious choice to split these two pilots to the two cars because of their special long-distance and Le Mans experience. The confirmation of our entry is another milestone on our road to Le Mans. We are all excited to meet our competitors for the first time at the official test at Paul Ricard at the end of March and of course at the WEC season kick-off at Silverstone in April.”
The 919 Hybrid was developed to meet the new efficiency regulations for the top category of Le Mans prototypes. It has a highly complex hybrid drive system comprising a small-capacity supercharged V4 combustion engine, an electric motor driving the front wheels and two energy recovery systems.
Porsche wants to repeat its 2013 first-second place GT class finish
In the GTE Pro category, Porsche is again putting forward the entry of Porsche Team Manthey with two 911 RSR cars against the works teams of Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari and SRT Viper. Many details of the GT sports car from Weissach were revamped for the last race in the 2013 season. The modified aerodynamics of the front end, a wider rear wing and adapted chassis kinematics ensure enhanced balance and improved control at its handling limits.
“In the 2013 season, the 911 RSR gave impressive proof of its long-distance capabilities by its one-two finish at Le Mans,” said Head of Porsche Motorsport Hartmut Kristen. “At the 24 hour race in Daytona, we celebrated another win in a classic long-distance race with the revised version of the 911 RSR – this is certainly a good omen for Le Mans 2014.”