Yifei Ye has been named Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific’s new Selected Driver, replacing Alessio Picariello in the role for 2022.
The 21-year-old, who won this year’s European Le Mans Series championship with Team WRT and Asian Le Mans Series with G-Drive Racing — both in LMP2 — was confirmed in his new position during Porsche Asia Pacific’s ‘Night of Champions’ in Shanghai on Sunday evening.
Ye becomes the first Chinese driver to take on the role that’s aimed to develop Asia-Pacific driver talent outside of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, a core element of Porsche’s presence in the region.
His 2022 program has yet to be announced, although there appears to be a push to place Ye in Porsche Penske Motorsport’s LMDh effort the following year.
“It’s a huge milestone in my career to be teaming up with a manufacturer and sports car brand such as Porsche,” said Ye.
“Motorsport is in Porsche’s DNA and it’s incredibly well known for driver development, which I plan to utilize to get myself in the best shape possible.
“Next year will be my first season in GT racing, so I have a lot to get used to but with Porsche’s guidance I can make the switch much more easily.
“I really resonate with the work of Porsche China and Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific, heavily promoting racing activity in China but also Asian teams and drivers competing in Europe.
“I started endurance racing this year and after winning Asian and European Le Mans Series, my clear goal is to enter LMDh with Porsche in 2023 and to be the first Chinese driver to win an FIA world championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Picariello, the inaugural Selected Driver from 2020-21, will remain with the German manufacturer in a larger capacity next year.
“The Selected Driver role has developed in recent years and Alessio had great success in the position,” said Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific managing director Alexandre Gibot.
“We are very proud of Alessio’s progress and we know he will go on to be successful with Porsche in the near future.
“Yifei is the ideal candidate to take on the role. He’s talented in the car and intelligent off the track as well.
“He’s already had great success in motorsport and we hope we can help him on his way to a long and fruitful career with Porsche.”