Mark Webber morphs from racer to Porsche rep
Former F1 race winner and current WEC front-runner, Mark Webber, has called time on his 25-year professional career, announcing this month that he will retire at the end of the year to take up a new nonracing role with Porsche.
The six-hour World Endurance Championship race in Bahrain on November 19 will be the last time the reigning World Champion from Australia will compete as a works driver, with the 40-year-old set to represent Porsche at global events and work as a consultant for the German sports car specialist.
The role will include talent research as well as driver training for up and coming professionals and the huge number of worldwide Porsche amateur racers with Webber set to work alongside rally legend Walter Röhrl (69).
“Mark Webber stands for everything that Porsche implies: sportsmanship, power of endurance, straightforwardness and focused work for success, “said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG. “I want to thank Mark for his great performance in the World Endurance Championship and am pleased he will remain tightly connected to Porsche in the future.”
“I have arrived where I belong,” Webber said at the announcement function. “Porsche is the brand I always loved most and the one that suits me the best. The 911 is iconic – it has got elegance, performance and understatement, and is never intrusive. It is just the right car for every scenario.
“I will miss the sheer speed, downforce and competition, but I want to leave on a high and I’m very much looking forward to my new tasks.”
From Queanbeyan near Canberra, Webber is one Australia’s best racing exports, parlaying a modest career in karts to success in Formula Ford, Formula 3, Formula 3000 and ultimately 215 Formula One Grands Prix with nine victories and 42 podiums to his name.
After leaving F1 and the Red Bull team in 2012 he turned his focus to Porsche and the WEC, sharing the 2015 world title with Timo Bernhard and our own Brendon Hartley in their 919 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype.
Webber is also a long-time Porsche owner, his current collection including a 918 Spyder, 911 R, GT3 RS (991), 911 GT2 RS (997), 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a 1954 356 Cabriolet and a 1974 2.7 Carrera.