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Porsche Confirms Plans for Four-Car GTE-Pro Effort for 24H Le Mans

Porsche confirms plans for four-car factory GTE-Pro effort for 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche has confirmed plans to enter four factory GTE-Pro cars in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will include the race debut for its CORE autosport-run operation.

As revealed by Sportscar365 last month, the German manufacturer had been considering an increased effort for the French endurance classic, amid the company’s increased focus on GT racing following its exit from LMP1 competition at the end of this year. 

It will result in two mid-engined Porsche 911 RSRs from its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program joining the Manthey-run FIA World Endurance Championship entries.

The two CORE-run cars are subject to approval by the ACO Selection Committee. 

Newly named WEC pairing Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz will be joined by Fred Makowiecki in the No. 91 Porsche, with Laurens Vanthoor teaming with full-season pilots Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen in the No. 92 entry.

The No. 93 car is set to feature Porsche’s full-season IMSA trio of Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, with Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Sven Mueller expected to share driving duties of the No. 94 Porsche.

With Bamber, Bernhard, Dumas and Tandy, a total of four overall Le Mans winners would be represented in the lineup.

It will mark Porsche’s largest concentrated single-class factory program at Le Mans in recent history.

Bruni Returns to WEC in Revised Lineup

As expected, Gianmaria Bruni will make his return to the WEC full-time, having been confirmed in the No. 91 Porsche alongside Lietz.

The Italian driver joined Porsche mid-year in the WeatherTech Championship, following an early end to his contract with Ferrari, which prevented him from competing in WEC this year.

Bruni and Vanthoor combined for two podium finishes in 2017, along with a GT Le Mans class pole by Bruni at Lime Rock.

Christensen and Estre will continue to share wheel of the No. 92 Porsche for the WEC’s new ‘Super Season’ which will encompass both the 2018 and 2019 races at Le Mans.

Seven Customer 911 RSRs Confirmed

Porsche, meanwhile, has confirmed it has sold a seventh customer 911 RSR, expanding on its original commitment of six cars for next year.

Longtime Porsche single-make entrant Project 1 announced last month it has acquired one of the cars, which is expected to be run in the WEC.

Proton Competition has ordered four 2017-spec cars, with Gulf Racing confirming one and an additional car to a yet-to-be-announced team, believed to be Asian based.

The customer efforts will be run in the WEC and European Le Mans Series, with none of the cars slated for the WeatherTech Championship.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Matty

    December 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Don’t give Corvette incentive to beat you. Facing four Fords and now four Porsches will just ignite the competitive fire under the millennium yellow C7.Rs in June.

    • Amlv20

      December 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      And they’ll choke again on the last lap!

      • David Chaste

        December 9, 2017 at 7:54 pm

        Choke?? The Aston was much a much faster car, courtesy of Bop.

        Corvette used good old strategy to get in front of it.

        • Dan

          December 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm

          Spoken like a fanboy, they ran their tires off the cliff and the inevitable happened.

          • David Chaste

            December 10, 2017 at 10:53 am

            If you want to talk about choking Aston has not won the pro class since 2008. Even in the years they have had 3 or 4 pro cars.

            The aco gave them generous bop to help them win to justify them building a new car, and still they almost didnt make it.

            Others are spending 10s of millions staying up to date on regulations while the aston is the same outdated design from 2008. The car has really not been eligible for lemans in year. And they know coming to imsa will expose them. This happened when Dalla lana brought his GTE car over for Daytona. The refueling alone exposed the outdated design of the car’s internals.

            But so long as the Dunlop check was clearing the ACO stayed mum.

    • gmfansaredelusional

      December 10, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Ignite the competitive fires under a company that is here due to taxpayers money……………..What a freaking joke.

      • David Chaste

        December 10, 2017 at 10:58 am

        Have you checked what other governments do and have done for their auto industries? And have you checked what state governments in the u.s have done for foreign car makes to attract them to their states?

        You should really get informed before you bring up the topic.

  2. Amlv20

    December 9, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I wonder if ford will get four cars again too?

    • David Chaste

      December 9, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      ford will have 4 cars this year and next year

      • Barber

        December 9, 2017 at 9:05 pm

        I hope the use retro liveries this or next year.

  3. juneracer

    December 9, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    wonder what the total car count will be in GTE-Pro and wonder how much Porsche will continue sandbagging to up their chance in Le Mans?

    • WesGTR

      December 9, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      If they or anyone are guilty of sandbagging, the logging systems will see it and call it.

    • getagrip

      December 10, 2017 at 10:50 am

      How much Porsche will sandbag? Due to more cars?

      That has to be one of the most ignorant comments ever on this board.

  4. speedy

    December 10, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Aston had more power then anybody out there and lighter weight (BOP) then anybody out there. That was these only way too say with them was to run there tires to these max.

    • David Chaste

      December 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Wisdom is refreshing. A true observant of the craft.

  5. MartiniRacing962

    December 10, 2017 at 9:12 am

    If they do what Ford has been doing and run four cars with four identical liveries (aside from the mirror and wing endplates colors) I’ll be greatly disappointed. Porsche is the most successful manufacture at the 24H and with that, they have raced with many liveries. Get creative!

    • Jason

      December 10, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      There current livery is the best ever by far. I don’t mind all of them being the same.

  6. Lenora Terrell

    December 10, 2017 at 10:13 am

    When will Patrick Dempsey race in the laman again I have enjoyed seeing him race I saw him at Daytona in the Rolex race I also saw him at Sebring in Florida before he stopped racing i really enjoyed seeing him race I witch he would start racing again he was so good god bless you Patrick Dempsey

  7. Toni

    December 11, 2017 at 3:50 am

    I still don’t like the idea and let’s not forget that the ACO still has to approve the entries which is by no means a given. The same holds for Corvette btw, but I think that that is nearly a given.

    However, how cool is to see Romain and Timo sharing a car again!!

    • David Chaste

      December 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

      The ACO knows you dont get a giant like Porsche on your bad side when the giant is pulling out the stops to race at your race. So those are almost guaranteed to make it

  8. AF

    December 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Pity they won’t get the entries.

  9. Chase

    December 11, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I’m thinking Porsche& Ford only get 3 entries apiece. With the increase in LMP1 entries and most ELMS LMP2 teams doubling up somebody is gonna get the bad end of the stick

    • jason

      December 11, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      The bad end of the stick is going to be the ELMS teams. Not the GTE Pro manufacturers.

      • Blaneysellstrashbags@Ring24

        December 12, 2017 at 7:41 am

        Exactly…No GTE factory team will be denied an entry.

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