WEB­BER EX­ITS LMP1, TANDY IN THE FRAME

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - Pho­tos: LAT, Jakob Ebrey

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

Porsche needs a driver Tandy (l), Bam­ber

Web­ber will step down

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