Laurens Vanthoor will serve as Porsche GT Team’s reserve driver for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the Belgian set to turn laps in three different cars in Sunday’s Le Mans Test Day.
The Porsche factory driver has been nominated in both the Nos. 91 and 92 Manthey-run Porsche 911 RSRs in GTE-Pro, as well as the LMP2 class No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson, which Vanthoor will be on standby for later this month as well.
According to Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vanthoor will gain time in both Porsches to meet the ACO’s requirement to be eligible as a substitute for the race.
“We cannot nominate [a reserve driver] but we are prepared,” Walliser told Sportscar365. “He needs [ten] minimum laps to be eligible as a non-defined reserve driver.”
It will mark Vanthoor’s first experience of Le Mans in a GT car, after two previous race outings in LMP2 machinery, the most recent coming with Michael Shank Racing last year.
Vanthoor said one of his objectives on Sunday will be to “validate” recent developments found in the mid-engined car from testing with the IMSA team at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last month.
His IMSA full-season teammates Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner are also part of Porsche’s lineup for Le Mans.
“I’ll be driving both cars because I’ve been doing a lot of testing in America over the past weeks and we’ve found some good things,” Vanthoor told Sportscar365.
“They want me to validate the feeling. As I’m the reserve driver, it fits together.”
Vanthoor is also set to turn between 10-15 laps in G-Drive’s WEC-entered car, in what will mark his first experience in a new-generation LMP2 car, as well as an Oreca.
Reports elsewhere stating that he’s already been signed to fill in for Alex Lynn in next month’s Six Hours of Nürburgring are false, according to the Belgian.
“They wanted a backup driver [for Le Mans] and they needed one for Nürburgring as well,” Vanthoor said. “Yesterday I saw there was something on Twitter saying I was confirmed for Nürburgring, which is not true.”
Vanthoor said his participation in the fourth round of the WEC season is dependent on “a lot of things.”
“I would only do Nürburgring if there was another requirement met from their side,” he said.