F1 star Hulkenberg signs for Porsche Le Mans

November 27, 2014

F1 star Hulkenberg signs for Porsche Le Mans

November 27, 2014


After having announced earlier this week that Porsche will run a third car for next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour, the German manufacturer has now secured its first driver for the entry with Formula 1 ace Nico Hulkenberg set to drive.

AUTO - WEC 6 HOURS OF BAHRAIN 2014The 27-year-old German will be the first active Formula One driver since 2009 to take the start of the famous endurance event. Before entering the race at the Sarthe on June 13/14, Hulkenberg will race the second generation of the innovative Le Mans Prototype on May 2 in the six-hour race at Spa.

However, this will not be his first experience with a Porsche Hybrid race car; back in 2010 Nico took the 911 GT3-R Hybrid for a test run to the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Porsche will do battle against Audi, Toyota and newcomer Nissan at Le Mans next year. Porsche, Audi and Nissan are all expected to run three car entries for the endurance classic.

“Porsche and Le Mans – this combination probably attracts every race driver,” Hulkenberg said.

“I’ve been a Porsche fan for a long time and have been watching their return to the LM P1 class closely. The desire grew to drive that car at Le Mans. I am very pleased the 2015 Formula One calendar allows for it and I’m grateful to my Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments.”

Since 2010 Hulkenburg has competed in the Formula One World Championship. In 2014 he achieved his best overall championship position so far by coming ninth. In his debut season he took his first – and, to date, only – F1 pole position in a Williams, which was a less well-performing car in those days.

“We are very much looking forward to taking Nico on board,” said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President, Porsche LM P1.

“We’ve got complete faith in his driving skills and for sure he will fit well in our works team. The ability to integrate is of extreme importance in endurance racing. For a Formula One driver it is an unusual situation to accept that his own results are the sum of three drivers’ performance.”

Hulkenburg’s best Grand Prix result was a fourth place in 2012 for Force India at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps – exactly the place where he will have his race debut with the Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2015. Nico Hülkenberg entered Formula One after he became 2009 GP2 champion, having begun in karting at the age of nine.

 Sebastian Bourdais was the last current F1 driver to race at Le Mans in 2009 when he was with Toro Rosso.

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