Porsche has announced its GT racing commitments for 2019, its programme including a continued presence in IMSA and the FIA WEC, with a four-car works effort planned for Le Mans once again.
At the 87th edition of the 24-hour race at Le Mans next year, Porsche will race with two 911 RSRs from IMSA, in addition to its pair of WEC examples.
The #91 will be shared by Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki, while the #92 will see title defenders Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor partner up.
From the IMSA contingent, Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber will race the #93 car, and youngsters Sven Müller, Mathieu Jaminet and Dennis Olsen will drive in the #94.
For 2019, Porsche will bring back all of its 2018 works drivers and Young Professionals, the only newcomer to the team being Porsche Junior Jaxon Evans, the 22-year-old winner of Carerra Cup Australia. A total of 24 drivers make up the squad for 2019.
In IMSA, CORE Autosport will continue to campaign two 911 RSRs in GTLM, CORE’s partnership with Porsche having been extended for a further three years. In the American series, the #911 will be shared by Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, with Fred Makowiecki joining them for the IMSA Endurance Cup rounds. The sister #912 sister will be manned by the regular crew of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, with Mathieu Jaminet part of the crew for the long races.
Porsche will continue to support customers too in ’19, with the new 911 GT3 R set for its first full season; 45 of them have been sold.
Strong three-man crews will contest all of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup rounds: Romain Dumas, Sven Müller and Mathieu Jaminet, as well as Dirk Werner, Dennis Olsen and Matt Campbell, have been named as part of the crew.
In the Blancpain GT World Challenge America and the ADAC GT Masters, Porsche also supports at least two vehicles run by customer squads in the pro-category. Customer support will also be given at a number of national series and selected events.
Manthey Racing meanwhile, will defend its Nurburgring 24 Hours win, with factory backing and a pair of 911 GT3 Rs. The winning quartet from the 2018 edition will return, with Richard Lietz, Frédéric Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy sharing the cockpit. In the sister vehicle, Earl Bamber joins forces with the Le Mans winning trio, Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor.
Porsche will also assists a number of other teams in the German classic.
It’s set to be a big year for GT4 for Porsche too in ’19, with the successor to the winning Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport set for a world premiere on January 3, 2019, at the “Roar before Daytona” tests.
The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport will be the first ever production race car with body parts that are sustainably manufactured: the front hood, doors and rear wing are all made of natural-fibre composite material.
Three weeks after its launch, the new clubsport racer will then make its race debut at Daytona.
Finally, organisational changes have been announced for next year too. As of January 1, 2019, Fritz Enzinger will assume the position as overall manager of Porsche Motorsport.
Until now, Enzinger was responsible for the management of the LMP1 project and in February 2018 also took on the role as head of Group Motorsport.
Vice President of Motorsport, Frank-Steffen Walliser, who has held his position since 2014, will move into the department of the CEO, where he will be responsible for the 718 and 911 sports car model lines.
Full details of Porsche’s programme:
Works drivers for 2019
Earl Bamber (28/New Zealand)
Jörg Bergmeister (42/Germany)
Timo Bernhard (37/Germany)
Gianmaria Bruni (37/Italy)
Michael Christensen (28/Denmark)
Romain Dumas (40/France)
Kévin Estre (30/France)
Brendon Hartley (29/New Zealand)
Neel Jani (35/Switzerland)
Richard Lietz (34/Austria)
Patrick Long (37/USA)
André Lotterer (37/Germany)
Frédéric Makowiecki (38/France)
Sven Müller (26/Germany)
Patrick Pilet (37/France)
Nick Tandy (34/Great Britain)
Laurens Vanthoor (27/Belgium)
Dirk Werner (37/Germany)
Matteo Cairoli (22/Italy)
Matt Campbell (23/Australia)
Mathieu Jaminet (24/France)
Dennis Olsen (22/Norway)
Julien Andlauer (19/France)
Jaxon Evans (22/New Zealand)
Race series overview
FIA World Endurance Championship
911 RSR #91 – Gianmaria Bruni / Richard Lietz
911 RSR #92 – Michael Christensen / Kévin Estre
24 Hours of Le Mans
911 RSR #91 – Gianmaria Bruni / Richard Lietz / Frédéric Makowiecki
911 RSR #92 – Michael Christensen / Kévin Estre / Laurens Vanthoor
911 RSR #93 – Earl Bamber / Patrick Pilet / Nick Tandy
911 RSR #94 – Sven Müller / Mathieu Jaminet / Dennis Olsen
IMSA WeatherTech Championship
911 RSR #911 – Patrick Pilet / Nick Tandy / Frédéric Makowiecki*
911 RSR #912 – Earl Bamber / Laurens Vanthoor / Mathieu Jaminet*
* North American Endurance Cup
Nürburgring 24 Hours, Team Manthey Racing
911 GT3 R – Earl Bamber / Michael Christensen / Kévin Estre / Laurens Vanthoor
911 GT3 R – Richard Lietz / Frédéric Makowiecki / Patrick Pilet / Nick Tandy
Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup
911 GT3 R – Romain Dumas / Sven Müller / Mathieu Jaminet
911 GT3 R – Dirk Werner / Dennis Olsen / Matt Campbell