The Le Mans organizer, Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in Paris, announced the list of competitors selected to participate in the 82nd edition of the classic long-distance race on June 14 and 15, 2014. Porsche has registered its new works team for the two 919 Hybrid cars as “Porsche Team” in the top category of Le Mans prototypes (LMP1). The start numbers for the innovative hybrid sports cars are 14 and 20. The works team for the two 911 RSR entries in the GTE Pro class is called “Porsche Team Manthey”. Last year’s one-two class finishers will start again this year with numbers 91 and 92.
Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (car number 14) and Timo Bernhard (car number 20) have each been assigned to a different Le Mans prototype in the WEC. This series comprises eight races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result, each of the two 919 Hybrid cars will be piloted by a Le Mans overall winner: Dumas (France, 36) and Bernhard (Germany, 33) both achieved this success with Audi in 2010. The other four LMP1 Porsche works drivers,Brendon Hartley (New Zealand, 24), Neel Jani (Switzerland, 30), Marc Lieb (Germany, 33) and Mark Webber (Australia, 37), will take turns at the wheel during the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship with the final lineup yet to be determined.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl explained in Paris:
“It was an obvious choice to split these two pilots to the two cars because of their special long-distance and Le Mans experience. The confirmation of our entry is another milestone on our road to Le Mans. We are all excited to meet our competitors for the first time at the official test at Paul Ricard at the end of March and of course at the WEC season kick-off at Silverstone in April.”
The 919 Hybrid was developed to meet the new efficiency regulations for the top category of Le Mans prototypes. It has a highly complex hybrid drive system comprising a small-capacity supercharged V4 combustion engine, an electric motor driving the front wheels and two energy recovery systems.