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Bamber into New GT3 Role as Porsche Adjusts Factory Lineup

Porsche releases six drivers from factory roster as Preining, Wehrlein join…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche has announced its factory driver squad for 2021 with six drivers including Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy leaving the roster and Thomas Preining gaining a promotion.

Bamber will transition to a new role supporting the manufacturer’s GT3 customer teams, while Tandy has moved to Corvette Racing’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans program, as already announced earlier this month.

Patrick Pilet, Sven Mueller, Dirk Werner and Michael Christensen – who has been replaced by Neel Jani in Porsche’s FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Pro crew – have also left the factory lineup.

New Porsche Formula E signing Pascal Wehrlein and GT3 ace Preining, who moves up from a Young Professional role, have joined the reduced 14-driver works pool.

The manufacturer has said that all six drivers who no longer hold full factory status will “still have the opportunity to represent Porsche” at race events next year.

Bamber, Christensen and retained works driver Frederic Makowiecki have been assigned to work with Porsche GT3 customers in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.

Bamber, who became a factory team member at the start of 2015, will carry out the same role in IMSA’s GT Daytona class along with Laurens Vanthoor and Patrick Long.

Porsche’s involvement in the WeatherTech Championship will focus on GTD customer efforts after its works GTLM program run by CORE autosport ended after this season.

Frenchman Julien Andlauer is now the only driver enlisted as a Young Professional following Preining’s promotion to the factory ranks.

Preining, who started out as a Porsche Junior in 2017, has completed his course through the brand’s three-tier development system after contesting a full season of GTWC Europe and a handful of WEC rounds this year as a Young Professional.

Ayhancan Guven remains a Porsche Junior for the second season in a row, while Jaxon Evans will be available to customer teams with his term as a Junior coming to an end.

Porsche elected not to hold its annual young driver evaluation to choose a second Junior to work alongside Guven because of “ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions”.

The manufacturer added that “almost all” of its affiliated drivers will tackle the Nürburgring 24 next June, as Porsche aims to make up for the depletion of its lineup for the Eifel enduro’s 2020 edition due to positive coronavirus cases within its bubble.

Additionally, Porsche has yet to determine whether its customer teams will field cars in the DTM’s new GT3 era.

Porsche Works Drivers
Gianmaria Bruni
Matt Campbell
Romain Dumas
Kevin Estre
Mathieu Jaminet
Neel Jani
Richard Lietz
Patrick Long
Andre Lotterer
Frederic Makowiecki
Thomas Preining
Simona de Silvestro
Laurens Vanthoor
Pascal Wehrlein

Porsche Young Professional
Julien Andlauer

Porsche Junior
Ayhancan Guven

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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