Major driver shakeups come every now and then in a race team, and this was also the case with Porsche and its LMP1 team, which will not only be affected by Mark Webber’s retirement from racing but also from two drivers being moved out from the prototype team.
The FIA WEC Driver champions Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas were announced by Porsche to be leaving the LMP1 team, mostly due to an lackluster remainder of the 2016 season, as the pair and Nee Jani were unable to score at least a podium after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The trio had an incredible start of the season with a win at Silverstone and a second place at Spa-Francorchamps along with their triumph at La Sarthe, but they didn’t go past fourth place in four opportunities since then.
Although out of the LMP1 team, Lieb will be reallocated to a customer racing role in GT racing where he is a true specialist, while Dumas’ future is still unknown, but likely going to the GT racing route. Drivers for the three vacant seats at Porsche are already being rumored, with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber topping the list, while former Audi LMP1 driver André Lotterer may be considered too.
In the GT ranks, German Sven Müller finally gets a promotion to become a Porsche factory driver, probably to be racing with the new for 2017 model of the 911 RSR GTE machine.
Müller won not only the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany this year but also won the Porsche Supercup one-make series, proving his talent with the Cup car, along with a class win at the Dubai 24 Hours. During his three years of GT racing, along with his Porsche Cup duties, Müller also had his share of GT3 racing in VLN and also some participations in FIA WEC with Porsche Team Manthey GTE-Pro squad, even conquering a podium in the 2015 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
It is still unconfirmed if Müller will go to the United States to race in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship of he will stay in Europe to align with Porsche Team Manthey in the FIA WEC.