Team75 Bernhard is poised for an expanded effort next year, with the newly crowned two-time FIA World Endurance Champion likely to be part of his team’s driver lineup in the GT3 ranks.
Bernhard, who will remain as a Porsche factory driver despite the manufacturer’s exit from LMP1 competition, said he’s currently finalizing the team’s 2018 program, which is likely to expand from its current campaigns in ADAC GT Masters and VLN.
“For me it’s two things,” Bernhard told Sportscar365. “First of all, the big thing is that I’m going to stay with Porsche as a factory driver. The next thing is, as a team, what we would like to do?
“We have to see what we can do together and what championships.”
The team made its Blancpain GT Series debut in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, finishing fourth overall with the all-factory lineup of Laurens Vanthoor, Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre.
When asked about a potential move into full-time Blancpain GT competition, Bernhard said “we’ll see.”
“Definitely I’ll stay a Porsche factory driver and my team will also run Porsches,” he said. “Now we have to piece it together.”
The 36-year-old German said he isn’t ready to hang up the helmet just yet and admitted he could see himself driving for his own team, as well as other GT opportunities.
“I can do both,” he said. “As a driver, I would have liked the LMP1 program to continue a bit longer but if you look at it, it’s not, so you have to look for new challenges and new things.
“I’ll definitely continue driving but we just have to see in which combination.
“At the same time, I want to enjoy it and be successful as a driver and I want to help my team be successful and build it up. [In at least] one of the races, you’ll definitely see me in my own car.
“I think we’re at the step with my team that I have to be more involved to help it more so it’s the right time.”
The family-run squad was initially formed in 2010 for Bernhard’s rally exploits, before evolving into circuit racing three years later, initially in Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
It stepped up to GT3 competition last year in GT Masters with the Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Emotionally for sure it’s maybe something different for me because now we feel like we’ve graduated a lot,” Bernhard said.
“We’ve evolved a lot as a team since I’ve done rallies. It’s a whole new operation.”
Details on the team’s 2018 program are expected to be made at Porsche’s “Night of Champions” dinner next month.