Tandy se­cures Porsche LMP1 deal

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - Pho­tos: LAT, Jakob Ebrey Ginetta’s G57-P2 tested, p20

Bri­tish sportscar star Nick Tandy will con­test the full FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship next sea­son af­ter land­ing an LMP1 seat with Porsche, and will share his car with former Audi Sport star An­dre Lot­terer.

Ger­man ace Lot­terer – who has won Le Mans three times with Audi and also lifted the World ti­tle – was an­nounced as a Porsche LMP1 driver last week in the wake of Audi’s with­drawal from the sport.

To­gether with Lot­terer, Porsche has pro­moted 2015 Le Mans win­ners Tandy and Earl Bam­ber to its LMP1 driver ros­ter. Lot­terer, Tandy and Bam­ber re­place the re­tir­ing Mark Web­ber and 2016 WEC cham­pi­ons Marc Lieb and Ro­main Du­mas, who have been moved to the brand’s GT pro­grammes.

Lot­terer, Tandy and the sole sur­viv­ing mem­ber of Porsche’s world cham­pi­onship crew this year, Neel Jani, will share the num­ber 1 919 Hy­brid, with Bam­ber join­ing Timo Bern­hard and Bren­don Hart­ley in the sis­ter car.

For Tandy the deal marks the first time he will be in­volved full-time with an LMP1 pro­gramme. The 32-year-old from Bed­ford made his P1 de­but at Spa in the 2015 WEC, and won the Le Mans 24 Hours a month later along­side Bam­ber and Nico Hulken­berg.

Tandy said he was rel­ish­ing the chance to fight for a world cham­pi­onship as well as an­other win in the world’s big­gest en­durance race.

“This is the top of the tree, the top of the world cham­pi­onship, and it’s just ab­so­lutely mega to be in­volved in that,” said Tandy.

“With Audi pulling out I’m in one of the 12 plum sportscar seats any­where in the world, and it’s amaz­ing to think that Porsche puts that faith and trust in you.

“There are three as­pects to this deal that I’m hugely ex­cited about. The first is to get to fight for a world cham­pi­onship, which I’ve never been able to do be­fore. The sec­ond is to get back to Le Mans in an LMP1 car as this year [where he re­turned to the GT di­vi­sion when Porsche slimmed its ef­forts down to two cars] was hard to take af­ter the highs of 2015.

“Lastly I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to rac­ing at Sil­ver­stone [the WEC sea­sonopener]. Last year was the first ever that I didn’t get to race in the UK, as I was so busy in Amer­ica and Europe. It’ll be like a home-com­ing.”

Tandy also added that he was look­ing for­ward to shar­ing his 919 with Le Mans win­ners Lot­terer and Jani.

“Both An­dre and Neel are very highly re­garded for good rea­son – they’re two of the best sportscar drivers out there! We’ll work to­gether well and learn from each other and push each other on. I have ab­so­lutely no doubt it’ll be a good team.”

Next year the LMP1 ranks will be slimmed by Audi’s with­drawal, but Tandy be­lieves the fight at the front will be just as tough.

“With less cars the spec­ta­cle will nat­u­rally go down, but I think the rac­ing has the po­ten­tial to be closer than ever next year,” he added.

“With the tech­ni­cal reg­u­la­tions be­ing frozen [un­til 2019], Toy­ota will have worked hard to de­velop their car and I don’t think we’ll see any more in­stances of one brand en­joy­ing a faster car at spe­cific tracks. I think ev­ery­one will be op­ti­mised for each cir­cuit, so it has the po­ten­tial to be a real fight.”

Tandy won Le Mans back in 2015 Tandy will share... ...919 with Lot­terer Neel Jani com­pletes Porsche’s line-up

DE­CEM­BER 7 2016

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.