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Christensen, Estre Hope “Strong” Partnership Continues in LMDh

Porsche aces Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre hope to continue racing together in LMDh…

Photo: Porsche

Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre are hoping that they will be able to continue their successful partnership established in GTE-Pro as they move up to Porsche’s LMDh program next year.

Christensen and Estre have been long-time co-drivers as part of Porsche’s factory GTE-Pro squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship, having won the 2018-19 world title.

As co-drivers, the Danish-French duo famously also took a class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 alongside Laurens Vanthoor. 

Outside of the WEC, they have also won several other landmark races together including the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa and the Nürburgring 24.

Last month, both were announced to be part of Porsche Penske Motorsport’s roster of factory drivers that will race the Porsche 963 across the WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

While Porsche has yet to name its exact driver pairings and series allocations for either program, Estre and Christensen told Sportscar365 that they hope their long-standing partnership will continue into the LMDh era.

“I think there is no question about how much I like working with Kevin, and Laurens [Vanthoor] as well,” Christensen said. 

“Kevin and I work closer with because we racing every race together, more or less. 

“We had a lot of good wins and a lot of success together, which probably also reflects on why I am in the new program with him and Laurens. 

“We showed that we can do stuff together, so it is clear I believe in our team.

“I believe in our abilities to work together and help each other, push each other and be a stronger driver individually by driving together. 

“So I definitely dream of continuing that partnership. 

“That said, it’s not that I can’t see myself drive with any other driver because I can also do that but I know that this is really strong pairing and I would like to continue that in the future as well.”

Estre echoed Christensen’s comments, although he emphasized that no decision on the driver pairings has currently been made.

“We don’t know yet what championship we will do and how the lineups are going to be,” said the Frenchman. 

“It would definitely be very cool to stick together, because we won pretty much everything together and we are a team that is working well. 

“So it would be nice to stay like this, but it has not been decided yet by Porsche and Penske.”

When asked about his ideal preferred lineup, Estre said: “The first thing that comes to mind is probably Laurens, Michael and myself. It would be a nice story.

“We won Le Mans together and I think that bounds you forever, so this is something that kind of makes sense, but as I said we have great drivers in the program and I believe a lot of combinations will work. We’ll see.”

Estre and Christensen are two of several drivers that Porsche has selected to step up from its GT roster along with Vanthoor, Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell.

Estre expressed his gratitude to Porsche to have given some of the GT drivers a chance, saying it validated his previous achievements.

“It is great to be in the boat and be all together, to have Laurens, to have Michael,” he said.

“It’s also good with the younger drivers like Matt and Mathieu. They are nice guys, fast guys and they got the chance.

“I think when you look at all the Porsche Penske drivers for this program, there’s a bit of everything, which is nice and gives you a good feeling as a driver that if you do well in GTs you can come up and go to the top class, which is nice.”

It is not yet clear when the makeup of Porsche’s crews in both championships for next year will be announced.

Traditionally, Porsche has always used the Night of Champions event to announce its plans for the upcoming season.

Alex Stehlig, Porsche’s Director of Factory Motorsport for FIA WEC, indicated to Sportscar365 that lineup announcements could potentially be made at the end-of-year gathering, but stressed that he did not know for certain.

Sportscar365 understands two more drivers are still yet-to-be-announced for the program, including one who is currently under contract with another manufacturer. 

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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