Two of Porsche’s newest factory drivers, Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy, have been confirmed alongside Nico Hulkenberg in the third Porsche 919 Hybrid, the No. 19 entry, for Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Both have tested the 919 and have impressed the brass enough to earn the LMP1 opportunity along with full season programs in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class, on all non-conflicting weekends.
The Spa round does clash with the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca of the TUDOR Championship, so the appropriate replacement drivers will need to be identified for that weekend.
Bamber won last year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as a rookie, as well the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for the second time since 2013. Furthermore, the “Kiwi” won a round of the Carrera Cup Deutschland and secured second place at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in his GTLM class debut.
“Receiving support from Porsche was the chance of a lifetime as a race driver,” Bamber said. “I’ve reached new levels in every aspect and I’ll do my utmost to justify this trust again this season.”
Tandy already has a Petit Le Mans and Rolex 24 at Daytona win on his resume and looks to add a Le Mans one to it.
“In every regard, I have full faith in our driver line-up,” said Fritz Enzinger, LMP1 vice president.
Team principal Andreas Seidl added, “We are very happy to be allowed to enter a third car in what is only our second season. This shows once more how strongly the company backs the LMP1 program.”
Porsche has made other confirmations as well. It has confirmed its LMP1 car to be revealed on March 26, ahead of the Prologue at Paul Ricard.
Additionally, Porsche Team Manthey has confirmed the driver lineups for FIA WEC this season in GTE-Pro.
Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen will share the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR, with Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki in the sister No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. Jorg Bergmeister (No. 91) and Wolf Henzler (No. 92) will join them at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.