Welcome aboard to the new Porsche drivers, announced at the Night of Champions motorsport gala in Weissach. While we’re bidding farewell to our tribe leader, Mark Webber, and his fellow racers Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas, we’re also delighted to be putting on the kettle for plenty of others across multiple series.
The first bit of good news is that Neel Jani, 32, will be joined in the LMP1 919 Hybrid #1 car by 2015 Le Mans-winner Brit Nick Tandy, 32, and three-time Le Mans winner André Lotterer, 35, of Germany.
Over in car #2, Earl Bamber, 26, has joined the ranks, and will be racing alongside German Timo Bernhard, 35, and fellow New Zealander Brendon Hartley, 27.
Elsewhere, we have three new GT works drivers: Germany’s Dirk Werner, 35; the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor, 25; and 24-year-old German Sven Müller, who has been promoted from being a Porsche junior to a Porsche works driver. Congrats, Sven.
There’ll be a factory squad at the 2017 FIA WEC rounds to compete for the GT world championship titles, with two 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. Two more 911 RSR will be doing battle in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, too.
In the Junior programme, 20-year-old Italian Matteo Cairoli and 22-year-old Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet receive continued funding. Dennis Olsen, 20, from Norway; Matt Campbell, 21, from Australia; and Thomas Preining, 18, from Austria will be backed as Porsche Juniors, with Preining joining the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.
Finally, the 2016 Porsche Cup, the trophy for the world’s most successful private Porsche pilot, went to 31-year-old Robert Renauer of Germany, who gets to go home with a Porsche 911. Second place went to Christian Reid from Germany, and third to Daniel Diaz-Varela from Spain.