Walliser: Bruni Would “Fit In” to Porsche’s GTE Lineup

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser has admitted that Gianmaria Bruni would “fit in” to its factory GT lineup, amid continued reports that the German manufacturer is courting the Ferrari star for its GTE-Pro return in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

Porsche has yet to confirm the fourth full-season WEC driver, alongside Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen and Fred Makowiecki for its two-car Manthey-run effort next year, with Walliser stating he has “several options.”

When asked about the potential of an additional driver being hired for the seat, Walliser said “we’ll see.”

“Looking at [Bruni], he’s definitely one of the top-three drivers and I think we have a really strong driver lineup,” Walliser told Sportscar365. “So he would fit in this driver lineup of Porsche for sure. But we have to see.”

Walliser said the final seat hasn’t yet been confirmed due to a number of variables, including Porsche’s LMP1 driver shakeup, that has placed newly crowned World Champions Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb back to the GT program in different roles.

“With also the impact of Marc and Romain, that’s why we kept it open,” he said.

“We did a lot in our driver lineups in both LMP1 and GTE, that’s why just kept it open so we have all the options. So we wouldn’t announce something and then [have] to change.”

Bruni, a two-time WEC GT class champion, however, is understood to still be under a multi-year contract with Ferrari, which was renewed in 2015 after reportedly first been pursued by Porsche.

The 35-year-old Italian was the only currently employed Ferrari factory driver that was not present at its World Final event in Daytona last weekend.

Walliser said the remainder of the Porsche GTE-Pro lineup should be finalized by next month, with the two drivers for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to come from its previously announced IMSA lineup.

The pair of Porsche Motorsport entries will run with two-driver lineups for all rounds except Le Mans, Walliser said. He ruled out additional works cars for the French endurance classic.

He said the plan will be to place each GT factory driver within a full-season program, including Dumas, Wolf Henzler and new works pilot Sven Mueller, who all have yet to be assigned.

Porsche’s new “Young Professional” drivers, Matteo Cairoli and Mathieu Jaminet, meanwhile, will likely be assigned to GT3 or European Le Mans Series GTE/WEC GTE-Am customer teams.

“My driver table is a big puzzle,” Walliser said. “We have to see all the possibilities and the things we do. Then we’ll announce it.”

10 Comments

  1. ML

    December 12, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I can’t imagine seeing the ultimate Iltalian GT racer NOT racing for Ferrari. But that’d be a great signing for Porsche, if they did.

    Are there any rumors who might replace him at Ferrari, if this happens?

    • gtgianlu

      December 12, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      I’m italian and I reckon a legal fight is going on to free Bruni from his multi (and whealth) year contract,It’s probably just a matter of time to see the switch

  2. Nicolas

    December 12, 2016 at 11:59 am

    What a surprise, Gimmi would fit anywhere…He’s one the best gt driver you can find out there

    • kevlow

      December 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      You beat me to it.
      Of course he would fit in. If there was a problem then you would fire your existing team to make room. Even as a Porsche fan, I appreciate greatness.

      • Morningview66

        December 12, 2016 at 1:25 pm

        Porsche so have a ridiculous works driver roster. 18 full factory drivers amongst the best in the world.

        I’m a fan of them fir their commitment to motorsport, but it would be nice if they left some guys fir the rest 🙂

  3. KW

    December 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Really surprising. Gimmi Bruni seemed to be as closely connected to Ferrari as Darren Turner to Aston Martin or as Bernd Schneider to Mercedes, with sort of a life-time contract. But obviously he is still searching for new challenges. Porsche has to take him if they can get him, just the same as for André Lotterer, but this really leads to the problem where to place all the works drivers in 2017. All the private Porsche GT projects in FIA WEC, IMSA, ADAC GT Masters and Blancpain Series will have good lineups…

  4. Michael Sørensen

    December 12, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    $$$$$$$$$$$$

  5. Chuck

    December 13, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    It’s more fun when Porsche can beat Gimmi the few times they have done it – you need somebody to compete against, and he is one of the best or he wouldn’t be driving Ferraris.

  6. GTfirst

    December 15, 2016 at 12:45 am

    That. He was not in Daytona was the big signe.

    For me also not possible, THE top italian driver to Pirsche, but we will see…

    Infos and news also here http://www.fchgt.com/forum/i

  7. Woody...

    December 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    It seems to me that at least in the GT class that Ferrari is the car that would give Bruni the best chances at wins and drives titles….Ferrari always wins more than their share, the new 911 will take awhile to get sorted out as far as setup. Just don’t see how Bruni would want to leave the team and car that he won 3 LeMans, 3 driver titles and has the most wins of any driver in WEC history…all with AF CORSE and in the superlative Ferrari…

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