Porsche has officially revealed its new LMP1 challenger, the 919 Hybrid, and that car’s full driver lineup as part of its annual Night of Champions celebration at its Weissach headquarters.
The team is still yet to reveal its final livery, as it premiered the car Saturday night with the testing wrap that has been present throughout its 2013 tests.
Official LMP1 drivers are the four previously announced, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Mark Webber, and the two new additions are Brendon Hartley and Marc Lieb.
“We had a substantial number of applicants from all classes for the two 919 hybrids,” explained Fritz Enzinger, Porsche’s Head of LMP1. “We were looking for experience, sheer speed, technical understanding, and we wanted team players because this is more important in endurance racing than in any discipline.”
Both have been projected to join the squad for the full FIA World Endurance Championship for a bit of time, and each has undertaken past tests in the 919.
Lieb, a longtime factory driver, steps into a works prototype while Hartley moves up to a top flight ride after impressing with Starworks Motorsport in the Rolex Series last year.
Hartley and Scott Mayer took the overall win in the team’s Daytona Prototype at Road America in August. In open-wheel machinery, Hartley has also served as a reserve driver for both Mercedes and Red Bull Racing in Formula One.
“I’m incredibly proud that Porsche has chosen me,” Hartley said. “I was deeply impressed at my first outing in Le Mans. But to compete there in the LMP1 for an iconic company like Porsche is another dimension completely.”
Lieb added: “Since the project was given the go-ahead, I only wanted one thing: to be involved. Le Mans and Porsche, I can’t even begin to describe how excited this makes me feel.”
Of Porsche’s other works drivers, only Wolf Henzler (with Team Falken Tire in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship) has his specific 2014 duties locked in.
The remaining Porsche works drivers, Patrick Long, Jorg Bergmeister, Marco Holzer, Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy, Michael Christensen and new addition, Frederic Makowiecki, have yet to be issued their 2014 assignments.
It’s expected a combination of those drivers will run Porsche’s 991-spec 911 RSR, which premiered in 2013 and finished 1-2 at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Team Manthey will run the works 911 RSRs in the WEC’s GTE Pro class, while CORE autosport will run the two Porsche 911s in the TUDOR Championship GT Le Mans class.