Porsche Penske Motorsport could utilize two of its full-season FIA World Endurance Championship pilots as third drivers for the team’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program according to the German manufacturer’s director of LMDh factory motorsport.
Set for parallel programs in both championships with a pair of factory LMDh cars, Porsche has so far announced eight drivers for the global operation, with Urs Kuratle acknowledging they have “marked” two more spots for yet-to-be-announced drivers.
The breakdown of ten pilots would result in six full-season WEC drivers and four in the WeatherTech Championship, meaning two WEC drivers would also contest the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds.
When asked by Sportscar365 on the possibility of drivers double-dipping, Kuratle said: “Why not? For something like Daytona when you have a third driver there, why not use these guys?
“Those are the evaluations we’re looking at right now. It’s not finished yet. It’s still under construction.”
While not yet confirmed, Sportscar365 understands that most of the so-far announced drivers have already been earmarked for a specific series.
Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor are likely to be a driving trio in the WEC, with Dane Cameron, Andre Lotterer and potentially Felipe Nasr in the other car.
IMSA GTD Pro champions-elect Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet, meanwhile, are believed to contest the WeatherTech Championship as a pairing.
That could theoretically leave two remaining full-time seats in the WeatherTech Championship that have yet to be announced.
Nasr, who has been a regular co-driver with Campbell and Jaminet in enduros this year, would appear to be a likely candidate to join the Australian and Frenchman for the long-distance WeatherTech Championship races, with Cameron believed to be under consideration for the other seat.
Such a strategy by Porsche would also rule out any of Team Penske’s NTT IndyCar Series or NASCAR drivers from competing in the U.S. endurance races. Kuratle said it’s unlikely they will utilize four-driver lineups for Daytona.
“For sure we’re looking at different drivers but the drivers who are [testing] now are all fixed in the program and announced as well,” he said. “The so-called ‘missed’ spots, we’re looking at possibilities.”
Kuratle, meanwhile, dismissed rumors of a current Formula 1 driver, such as Sebastian Vettel or Daniel Ricciardo, joining the team in a similar role to what Mark Webber played in the Porsche 919 Hybrid program.
“We’re looking at the people and the different drivers but there’s no major surprise,” he said. “Sebastian [Vettel] is not coming, Ricciardo is not coming. None of those guys.”