WEBBER EXITS LMP1, TANDY IN THE FRAME
British star Nick Tandy is in the frame for a full-time promotion to Porsche’s factory LMP1 squad after Mark Webber announced his retirement from racing at the end of this season.
Australian veteran Webber will step down from racing at the end of this season, but will remain with Porsche as a “special representative”. Webber racked up 215 grand prix starts between 2002-2013, scoring nine wins, before switching to the FIA world Endurance Championship with Porsche. He, together with team-mates Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley have scored seven wins aboard their 919 Hybrid from 22 races so far, and took last year’s world championship crown. The trio are fourth in this year’s points. “I have arrived at where I belong,” said Webber. “Porsche is the brand I always loved most and the one that suits me best. 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. “It was a big change from F1 to LMP1, and an entirely new experience. But it came at the right time for me. I found I liked sharing a car and the chemistry between Timo, Brendon and me is something special that I’ll always remember. It will be strange getting into the race car for the very last time in Bahrain, but for now I will thoroughly enjoy every moment of the remaining races this year.”
Webber’s withdrawal leaves Porsche with a natural choice between Tandy and New Zealander Earl Bamber who, together with guest entry Nico Hulkenberg, won the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours aboard the third 919 Hybrid. Both drivers currently race factory GTS in IMSA in America.
Porsche Team head Andreas Seidl said: “We have the luxury of having two Le Mans winners on our GT programme. That they were able to win Le Mans with only one preparation race is incredible and shows that they would both be able to do a good job. They are at the front of the queue.”
‘Organisers are sure the final will have light’ Formula Ford Festival preview, p9