Porsche confirms an experienced Le Mans line-up

More works drivers are back in sports car racing’s hot seat

4w ago

Two of the best endurance drivers currently competing will be helping pedal the Porsche 911 RSR for the two longest World Endurance Championship races in 2021 at Portimão and Le Mans.

Frédéric Makowiecki joins regular drivers Gianmaria Brun and Richard Lietz in the No.91 car, having been part of the driver line-up to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the last three years. Meanwhile, in the No. 92 car, Neel Jani and Kévin Estre will be joined by Michael Christensen. The experienced Danish driver won the GTE-Pro class for Porsche at Le Mans in 2018 with Estre and Laurens Vanthoor alongside him.

Frédéric Makowiecki, Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni

Frédéric Makowiecki, Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni

“Between them, these six nominated drivers have a total of 59 Le Mans races under their belts. This experience is invaluable,” explains Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport. Neel Jani won the 2016 staging of Le Mans outright in the 919 Hybrid, and his five teammates have claimed eight class victories so far at La Sarthe with the 911 RSR.

The synergy between drivers on and off the circuit is a key factor in preparing for the extraordinary demands of such long and challenging races as Le Mans. “It’s hugely important that the two driver crews we send to Le Mans have contested as many races as possible together,” adds Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “The instinctive understanding between them, knowing each other’s setup preferences and the smooth interaction with the engineers play crucial roles. With all six drivers competing at the WEC race in Portugal, we’ll be able to fine-tune the processes even more so that we’ll head to Le Mans with an extremely well-rehearsed crew.”

Neel Jani, Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen

Neel Jani, Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen

Round two of the World Endurance Championship in Portugal offers the perfect opportunity to compete with three drivers in each car. With eight hours of racing on offer, all the drivers will get plenty of track time at the wheel of the new 911 RSR. This will also be the first time that Portimão has hosted the World Endurance Championship, with the race planned for 13 June – the original date for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 89th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, meanwhile, will now be held on 21/22 August.

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