Porsche could run a third factory GTE-Pro entry in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, as part of its increased commitment to GT racing, according to motorsport boss Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.
The German manufacturer is set to re-allocate some of the resources from its soon-to-be-defunct LMP1 program for a beefed-up GT program that could also include a factory-backed effort in GT3 racing.
Walliser revealed a third works 911 RSR for the key GTE endurance races, such as Le Mans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, is among the options currently on the table.
“It’s something we’ve discussed but have not yet decided. Maybe [we’ll] do that,” Walliser said.
“To have an additional car, the chance to realize it, is in Le Mans higher than the other races.”
A surplus of drivers from the LMP1 effort could be used to fill the lineup, including former GT factory aces Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, who are expected to remain under contract for next year.
Walliser, however, wouldn’t confirm any possible additions to the GT roster beyond its already confirmed 14 works drivers.
A number of other areas of expansion are under evaluation, according to the Porsche GT boss, and is awaiting approval by Porsche’s Board, which is due to meet in the coming weeks.
“We have a proposal on the table and some ideas on how we can strengthen our GT activities,” Walliser said.
“For sure we will stay [in WEC] because it’s very important… Also we’re working on a really long-term strategy to plan it properly.
“We’re also looking for sure at all of the GT3 categories, as there are a lot of good races and highlight races. We want to emphasize a little bit more.
“Nothing’s finalized but it’s clear we’re going in that direction. It looks good and promising.”
Increased Factory Backing for IGTC Likely
A boosted presence in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, potentially with factory or works-supported teams, is also a possibility.
“The idea of the Intercontinental is that you take the local teams and they participate,” Walliser said. “We’re working at the moment if it would be with a factory team or factory backed team.
“It [would likely be] more factory backed. We could bring in the key people but you don’t have to ship cars all over the world.”
Porsche is set to complete this year’s IGTC season with Pro-Am efforts from Black Swan Racing and GMG Racing in the California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with factory drivers on loan and support from Porsche Motorsport North America.
Walliser said it hasn’t yet been decided which team will represent the manufacturer in the season-ending Motul Sepang 12 Hours, although he indicated Craft-Bamboo Racing will run Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in the FIA GT World Cup in Macau.
It’s understood Romain Dumas and reigning GT World Cup Champion Laurens Vanthoor will be the team’s drivers.