Lotterer, Tandy and Bamber join Porsche LMP1 setup

Lotterer, Tandy and Bamber join Porsche LMP1 setup

Andre Lotterer joins Porsche, whilst 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy receive promotion to the LMP1 programme.

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James Eagles

2016 World Endurance Championship victors Porsche have announced that Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber will all become a part of their revamped LMP1 driver lineup.

The German giants made the decision to move current drivers Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas - who alongside Neel Jani won the Drivers' Championship at the pinnacle of sports car racing last season - elsewhere within their motorsport programme, with the duo of Tandy and Bamber making the step up from GT racing.

And with Mark Webber now retired from motorsport, 35-year-old German-Belgian Lotterer, once of both the Jaguar and Caterham Formula 1 teams, joins the Stuttgart based marque after seven successful years with rivals Audi; who announced that they were to withdraw from endurance racing at the end of 2016, after the 'Dieselgate' scandal.

Lotterer looks for a 4th Le Mans victory. | Photo: Getty Images/Andrew Hone
Lotterer looks for a 4th Le Mans victory. | Photo: Getty Images/Andrew Hone

Lotterer not only brings vast experience, but three Le Mans 24 Hours victories alongside a sole World Endurance Championship crown, in 2012.

No strangers to success themselves, Brit Tandy and New Zealander Bamber partnered new Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg at the 2015 edition of Le Mans, taking the overall win in the process with Porsche.

Reports suggest that Lotterer and Tandy will join defending champion Jani in the #1 car next year, with Bamber joining fellow Kiwi Brendon Hartley and German Timo Bernhard in the #2 car.

Tandy and Bamber partnered Nico Hulkenberg for a shock Le Mans win in 2015. | Photo: Ker Robertson
Tandy and Bamber partnered Nico Hulkenberg for a shock Le Mans win in 2015. | Photo: Ker Robertson

Although Lotterer's situation for next year is confirmed, the futures of fellow Audi team mates Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer, Oliver Jarvis, Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval are unknown for now.

Brazilian di Grassi is expected to stay with Audi in their new Formula E works outfit; but with Toyota all but confirming their LMP1 lineup for 2017, after promoting World Touring Car Championship supremo Jose Maria Lopez, to replace the outgoing Stephane Sarrazin - the other four drivers have a nervy winter ahead.

However, Duval is optimistic about his chances of staying in the WEC, remarking "There are a lot of possibilities," to Motorsport.com. "For a constructor in LMP1 there are lots of positives in having an experienced driver."

With Toyota debating over fielding a third car at Le Mans next year, Porsche may be tempted to follow suit - opening up six more seats in total.

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