Porsche announces strong factory lineup
Stuttgart, Germany - With a strong lineup of nine factory drivers, who will perform worldwide in the American Le Man Series, the Rolex Grand-Am series, the FIA-GT championship, and the European-based Le Mans Series, Porsche is well prepared to compete for the 2007 season.
For the first time since the beginning of the American Le Mans Series, a single manufacturer claimed two class drivers titles last season, and the two reigning class champions are two of the 2007 Porsche factory drivers. Sascha Maassen earned the LMP2 drivers championship in the Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder, while Jorg Bergmeister won his second consecutive ALMS GT2 title in the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
In the Porsche tradition of home-grown driver talent, Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas have joined Patrick Long and Emmanuel Collard as returning factory drivers. New to the factory squad are Australian IndyCar Series pilot Ryan Briscoe and Austrian Supercup star Richard Lietz, who petitioned for the position after his top finishes in 2006.
In the American Le Mans Series, Maassen returns to the #6 Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder, and will be joined by Briscoe for the entire 12-race season starting at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Emmanual Collard will join them as a third driver in Sebring.
The #7 Penske RS Spyder will be driven by Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, and they will be joined by Brazilian IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves, who is contracted by Penske Racing for the 2007 IndyCar Series. Castroneves is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 (2001 and 2002).
Completing the factory driving lineup - and the lineup for the Penske Motorsports RS Spyder squad - is American Patrick Long, who will also compete in the American Le Mans Series in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as well as in the Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype in the Rolex Grand-Am series.
Collard, in addition to being a third driver in the Penske prototype in ALMS, will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as in the FIA-GT championship.
American Le Mans Series GT2 drivers champion Jorg Bergmeister will be Long's co-driver in the Alex Job Daytona prototype as well as a driver in the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the ALMS.
Elsewhere, in the European-based Le Mans Series, Marc Lieb will drive for the Proton team, while Richard Lietz will drive for IMSA/Matmut - both in Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race cars.