Porsche Confirms Bamber, Tandy, Lotterer in Revised LMP1 Lineup

Photos: Porsche/Audi

Photos: Porsche/Audi

Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber will graduate to Porsche’s LMP1 program, with Andre Lotterer joining the German manufacturer in its heavily revised driver lineup for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, which was confirmed on Saturday at its “Night of Champions” dinner in Weissach.

Tandy and Bamber, who along with Nico Hulkenberg won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 in a third Porsche 919 Hybrid, move into full-time LMP1 rides after focusing on Porsche’s GT racing activity this year, replacing two of the three vacant seats.

Three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer, meanwhile, is the final addition, with the ex-Audi ace joining Tandy and recently crowned World Champion Neel Jani in the No. 1 Porsche for next year.

Bamber replaces the newly retired Mark Webber in the No. 2 car alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.

The driver shakeup comes in the wake of both Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb having been dropped from the LMP1 lineup, just weeks after winning the Drivers’ World Championship alongside Jani.

As revealed by Sportscar365 in September, both Tandy and Bamber were front-running candidates to join the LMP1 squad full-time, when the performance of both Lieb and Dumas came under scrutiny through the summer months.

Lotterer, arguably Audi’s current standout driver, moves over from the now-defunct LMP1 program after seven years with the German manufacturer, having helped deliver numerous wins, as well as the 2012 WEC title.

As expected, Porsche will remain with a two-car program in the WEC and at Le Mans, with no indications of a third car for the French endurance classic.

The 2017-spec Porsche 919 Hybrid, featuring a new livery, updated aero kit and other developments, will be unveiled on March 23 at Monza, site of next year’s official pre-season Prologue test.

10 Comments

  1. Mike S.

    December 3, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    So where do Lieb and Dumas go? Still factory drivers but ouch.

    • JBV

      December 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Lieb will be supporting customer racing efforts, while details of Dumas assignment have yet to be released, probably supporting the WEC GTE squad.

    • kw

      December 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Dumas will be part of the Manthey GTE FIA WEC lineup, whereas Lieb will be supporting private teams in the GT3 series, like Blancpain Endurance Series and maybe also the IMSA series (e.g., TRG has switched to Porsche and still has to confirm its drivers, which might be Lieb and Patrick Long).
      But still, what a downgrade for two world champions. I wonder what happened during the year

      • Mike D

        December 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        No podiums after Le Mans… that’s what happened.

      • JBV

        December 3, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        There was a significant drop in pace from the #2 919 in the second half of the season… Marc and Romain were not on the same level as Neel or the lineup in the #1 car. They might have also expressed to the Porsche bosses an interest in a less stressful job if they became world champions. May seem like a downgrade, but both are still Porsche factory drivers.

        • KW

          December 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

          Yes, I have just read the original Porsche and driver statements – for Marc Lieb it is sort of a part-retirement, following the example of Bernd Schneider at Mercedes who also became a supporter of customer sports after his top-level career. Also Romain Dumas wants to extend his activities as a Rallye team owner. So it seems to be the “Rosberg factor” – lack of motivation after the Le Mans and championship victory. That might also explain the “drop in pace” after Le Mans…

  2. Steven

    December 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Jani and Lotterer together…Is that even fair?

    • Olly

      December 3, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Plus Tandy, lol feel for the sister car and Toyota.

    • John

      December 3, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Yeah, I was gonna say — even without the #1, the lineups make it pretty clear which car is desired favorite.

  3. Helmuth

    December 4, 2016 at 5:27 am

    I think the no 2 car will be the faster combination

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