Motorsport.com reports that 2015 Le Mans winner, Nick Tandy, and three-time Audi Le Mans winner, André Lotterer, will join the 2017 Porsche LMP1 works driver lineup. Online reports also claim that Earl Bamber may also be moved to LMP1, with Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas said to look vulnerable amongst the current top flight of works pilots.
André Lotterer: Porsche Works Driver?
André’s arrival at Porsche would be a very interesting development. A long-time Porsche fan, André was born in Duisburg, just north of Dusseldorf, to a German-Peruvian father and Belgian mother, but the family moved to Belgium when Andre was three (hat tip Joe Saward). Andre’s dad, Henri, formed the RAS Sport team, which ran the famous red and white Porsche 911 SC RS Belga cars of Droogmans and co. back in the day and one of Andre’s earliest Porsche memories is a spin in that SC RS. His first full car pic on Instagram was the same SC RS: it clearly had a formative influence.
With a private car collection including a Porsche 964 3.8 RS, 2.7 Carrera RS and a Carrera GT, André has Porsche in his blood, so it’s easy to see how the chance of a Porsche driving WEC title, including perhaps a Porsche Le Mans win, would be irresistible. It may also be an indication of Formula E’s attractions, that such a highly successful single-seat racer and long-time Audi champ would rather stay on in sportscars with Porsche, than switch to full electric with Audi.
Porsche Works Driver Reshuffle
Tandy in the same car as Loterrer is a mouth-watering prospect for Porsche fans. Bamber with Tandy and Lotterer would be the icing on the cake. Given the current works driver lineup of more than sixteen full-time contracted pilots, Porsche has an embarassment of riches. It’s hard to second-guess Weissach driver decisions, but my instinct as a fan says they would probably not lose Bernhard or Hartley, so (assuming motorsport.com is correct) perhaps a sideways jump for Jani to join Timo and Brendon, with the three newbies and former Le Mans winners running together.
This would bring Lieb back to 911s, but the SC owner shouldn’t lose too much sleep about that. Next year sees an all-new RSR on track and Lieb/Lietz/Pilet/Estre would be an awesome 911 works driver lineup.