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Team 75 Bernhard Closing In on 24H Spa Pro Entry
- Updated: April 4, 2017
Timo Bernhard’s Team 75 Bernhard squad could represent Porsche in the Pro class in this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, although the Porsche LMP1 factory driver stressed that a final decision has yet to be made.
The German squad, formed initially for Bernhard’s rallying exploits, expanded to circuit racing in 2013 and is set for a two-car effort in ADAC GT Masters this year with Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.
While having been linked to its 24-hour race debut at Spa, the 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion denied that a deal has already been reached.
“We can’t confirm anything,” Bernhard told Sportscar365 during last weekend’s WEC Prologue at Monza. “We’re working on several options.
“That would be the next step for us, whether it happens or it doesn’t happen this year. It’s the next thing because we’re trying to build up step by step.
“Going to a 24-hour race is a big task. I want to know the team is ready to do that.”
The team, managed by former ALMS champion Klaus Graf, has also expanded to VLN competition this year with a single Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, although Bernhard has ruled out a run at the Nürburgring 24 in May.
Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet and German ace Michael Ammermueller, along with Blancpain GT convert Adrien de Leener and Christopher Friedrich will pilot the pair of Porsche GT3 entries in GT Masters this year.
“I’m very proud on how the team is progressing but we also need time to build it up slowly,” Bernhard said.
“I know what you need to be competitive there and to do a good job. At the moment the team is progressing very well but I want to make sure we do it step after step.”
Should Bernhard’s Spa program get the green light, it would likely be the only Porsche in the Pro class of the race, which doubles as the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser said there are no plans for Manthey Racing to contest the race, leaving the door open for another team to represent the German manufacturer for IGTC points.
“It’s still a project that is up in the air,” Walliser told Sportscar365. “I hope we can do it, it would be a Pro car, but nothing I can confirm at the moment. We’re working on it, yes.”