Porsche Announces TUSC Factory Driver Lineup

Photos: Porsche

Photos: Porsche

Porsche announced Monday its lineup of works drivers for next year’s factory assault on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

The two-car Porsche 911 RSR effort, to be run under the Porsche North America banner, will see Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz share the wheel of the No. 911 entry, with Patrick Long and new addition Michael Christensen at the helm of the No. 912 car for the entire 11-round championship in the GT Le Mans class.

They’ll be joined by Patrick Pilet (No. 911) and Joerg Bergmeister (No. 912) for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 25-26.

The German manufacturer’s lineup features a mix of youth and experience, with both Lietz and Long having enjoyed considerable success in 911-based machinery for the better part of the last decade.

Tandy, a former Porsche Carrera Cup Germany champion, became a factory driver this year, having scored the GT class pole in the Rolex 24 and helping take the Team Falken Tire Porsche to class victory at Petit Le Mans.

Christensen, meanwhile, was named a works driver just last month following a two-year stint as a Porsche junior. The 23-year-old Dane made his American Le Mans Series debut at Petit Le Mans in CORE’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Long and Colin Braun.

Braun, who showed impressive pace at the wheel of the 997-based GTE car in the final three ALMS races, was initially touted as a possible new addition to the works squad. However, that did not materialize.

With confirmation of its TUDOR Championship GTLM lineup, as well as the six drivers that will be part of the new 919 Hybrid LMP1 program, the final piece of Porsche’s driver puzzle is with its factory GTE-Pro effort in the FIA WEC.

Based on process of elimination, it appears Bergmeister, Pilet, Marco Holzer and newly signed factory driver Fred Makowiecki are tipped for that program.

20 Comments

  1. Ben

    December 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Good lineup. Looks like it will be a strong team.

  2. Gene

    December 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

    So its Porsche North America going forward?
    CORE autosport name is gone?

    • jack

      December 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      nah they still have the pc car

  3. jack

    December 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    so this is bad news for all the gtd porsche teams, all those teams are not going to have the driver lineups they have had in the past, and with the lineups you will see from ferrari and audi, they are going to suffer

    • Jason

      December 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I think Porsche will be the GTLM favorites at Daytona. I also expect lap times to drop for GTLM from the tests. Surely this class of cars can go quicker than 1 min 47 laps (in racing and qualfying trim)

      • jack

        December 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        if aston has a clean race i think they will be the ones to beat, but its going to be so close, you cant guess with the quality of the gtlm, but the weakest teams i think are krohn and the vipers because the vipers always seem to have problems in the longer races

        • Jason

          December 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm

          I think BMW is the team that will struggle the most at Daytona.

          • CBN4

            December 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm

            It’s hard to choose who’ll be weakest and strongest in the GTLM class if you ask me. SRT Motorsports and BMW Team RLL have only have 1 full championship with their new cars and Porsche as well (in the WEC). Corvette Racing have a completely new car so on that basis you could say Ferrari will be strongest but looking back this year in the ALMS Risi isn’t exactly on form…

            My money would go on Corvette or Porsche if I had to bet.

          • jack

            December 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm

            if they stay on the lead lap and the race comes down to a short stint, bmw is screwed, but i think they have a good long run car, they run the same lap times but they are down on top speed, the aston and porsche are the fastest on the straights, Ferrari have a good balance over the whole lap, and corvette is an unknown, viper is has great traction and a great car in slow speed corners but i believe they lack overall top end

    • oppositelock

      December 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      What? Speak for yourself, we’ve got the same lineup that we’ve already won a championship with. We’ll be just fine. (AJR)

      • jack

        December 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

        but they dont have the drivers that won the 24 last year, i think that entire lineup may be with the lizards

        • oppositelock

          December 25, 2013 at 5:58 am

          No, the whole Audi thing was just a one-off deal for one race. We have Leh Keen who won the GA GT championship this year and the ALMS GTC championship last year with Cooper MacNeil who won the GTC championship the last 2 years in a row.
          If the Lizards have Filipe Albuquerque for Daytona then they will be hard to beat but that won’t be for the whole season. I’ve not heard anything about Lizard’s Daytona lineup, though.

  4. CBN4

    December 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    A very good line-up if you ask me. As long as the car is competitive then Porsche have a good chance in the championship. Two things come to mind though…

    1) I’d assume that Pilet and Bergmeister would be the 3rd driver needed for the NAEC since they’re going to be at Daytona. The 4 races in the NAEC don’t clash with the WEC anyway.

    2) if Bergmeister, Pilet, Holzer and Makowiecki are the GTE-Pro drivers in the WEC, with Nick Tandy at Porsche North America where does that leave Team Falken Tire?!

    • jack

      December 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      holzer is still with falken, there are no clashing events

      • CBN4

        December 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        Yeah it’s Wolf Henzler not Marco Holzer that’ll drive for Team Falken Tire in 2014. What I was trying to say is who would be the 3rd driver for the NAEC events now that Nick Tandy won’t be driving for Falken? Maybe Emmanuel Collard since he drove for Paul Miller Racing at Petit Le Mans this year and he’s no stranger to Porsches

        • jack

          December 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

          i believe he already has a ride

          • CBN4

            December 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

            Well I know Collard’s driving the #33 Riley Motorsports Viper in the GTD-class but as far as I know that’s only confirmed (so far) for Daytona and Falken Tire is going to miss the 24 hours event next month because they don’t have enough time to prepare for it with the 991-spec 911 anyway so anything is possible.

  5. Lee

    December 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    FYI Jack, it’s Henzler not Holzer that will be with Falken.

    • jack

      December 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      type-o sorry henzler is with falken full season

  6. Great Dane

    December 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Come on you Danes (or rather you Dane)

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