Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber will graduate to Porsche’s LMP1 program, with Andre Lotterer joining the German manufacturer in its heavily revised driver lineup for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, which was confirmed on Saturday at its “Night of Champions” dinner in Weissach.
Tandy and Bamber, who along with Nico Hulkenberg won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 in a third Porsche 919 Hybrid, move into full-time LMP1 rides after focusing on Porsche’s GT racing activity this year, replacing two of the three vacant seats.
Three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer, meanwhile, is the final addition, with the ex-Audi ace joining Tandy and recently crowned World Champion Neel Jani in the No. 1 Porsche for next year.
Bamber replaces the newly retired Mark Webber in the No. 2 car alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.
The driver shakeup comes in the wake of both Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb having been dropped from the LMP1 lineup, just weeks after winning the Drivers’ World Championship alongside Jani.
As revealed by Sportscar365 in September, both Tandy and Bamber were front-running candidates to join the LMP1 squad full-time, when the performance of both Lieb and Dumas came under scrutiny through the summer months.
Lotterer, arguably Audi’s current standout driver, moves over from the now-defunct LMP1 program after seven years with the German manufacturer, having helped deliver numerous wins, as well as the 2012 WEC title.
As expected, Porsche will remain with a two-car program in the WEC and at Le Mans, with no indications of a third car for the French endurance classic.
The 2017-spec Porsche 919 Hybrid, featuring a new livery, updated aero kit and other developments, will be unveiled on March 23 at Monza, site of next year’s official pre-season Prologue test.