Porsche has revealed that Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber are the likely drivers to land full-season seats with its LMP1 program, should there be a change to its lineup, as has been rumored, for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
The 2015 Le Mans winners have been focused on Porsche’s GT program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year, following the German manufacturer’s decision to scale back to two cars for the French endurance classic.
“For sure, once we replace someone in the lineup, it’s clear that the first two obvious guys are Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber,” Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl told Sportscar365.
“They have shown what they’ve been able to do. If you can do that like this with just the preparation of Spa and then go to Le Mans and win it, they deserve it. But we will have to see when and how.”
Paddock sources have indicated there could be up to two changes to Porsche’s lineup next year, with both Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb having been reportedly under scrutiny and Mark Webber not having yet made a final decision on whether he’ll continue for a fourth season.
Seidl said decision on its 2017 lineup will not be made until the end of the year.
“It’s fully open,” he said. “We will do it like every year, after the season we’ll analyze in detail and then make the call at the end of the year or in January on what we’ll do.
“So far, we’re pretty happy what we’ve done the last three years. I think we benefitted a lot from keeping the same guys in the car and building the experience together as a team.
“But again, we’ll analyze after the season and then make a decision on what we’ll do.”
Seidl reiterated that a third car for Le Mans next year is again not on the agenda, even if Toyota commits to an expanded program for the race.