PORSCHE FACTORY DRIVERS BERNHARD AND DUMAS TO DRIVE AUDI FOR 2009 LE MANS ATLANTA -- April 2 -- Porsche factory drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) will pilot an Audi R15 TDI at the Le Mans 24 hour race (June 13-14). As...
PORSCHE FACTORY DRIVERS BERNHARD AND DUMAS TO DRIVE AUDI FOR 2009 LE MANS
ATLANTA -- April 2 -- Porsche factory drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) will pilot an Audi R15 TDI at the Le Mans 24 hour race (June 13-14). As the two most successful Porsche racers of recent years, they join the driver line up of the Ingolstadt company. Together, Bernhard and Dumas won prototype titles with the RS Spyder and a GT2 championship with the 911 GT3 RSR in the American Le Mans Series - and for 2009 contest the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series in the Verizon Wireless Porsche Riley for Penske Racing.
Both Porsche works drivers are amongst the world's most experienced and successful sports car pilots. Timo Bernhard (28) won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2008, celebrated an overall victory in 2003 at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, and over the last three years, proved unbeatable at the Nurburgring 24 hour race. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he won the GT class in 2002. With Penske Racing, Bernhard secured the drivers' championship for Porsche and the team title for Penske Racing in 2007 and 2008 as well as the chassis and engine classification for Porsche in the American Le Mans Series.
"The Le Mans 24 Hour event is the only long distance race that I haven't yet won the overall classification. I'm absolutely thrilled to fight for victory this year with the Audi R15 TDI," said Timo Bernhard. "At the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring two weeks ago, I could already see that the R15 was a fast and reliable car. Now I can't wait for the first test drives."
Romain Dumas (31) was already loaned out to an LMP1 team over the last two years. He contested the race for the squad under Henri Pescarolo and claimed third overall in 2007. During the last two years he paired up with Timo Bernhard to clinch overall victory at the 24 hour race on the Nurburgring Nordschleife in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. He also secured the American Le Mans Series title in 2007 and 2008 with his team mate.
"As a Frenchman, the Le Mans 24 Hours has a very special meaning. Every young driver dreams of climbing to the top of the podium in Le Mans," said Dumas. "I'm ecstatic to be driving a winner car. Thanks to Porsche and Audi who have both made this possible."
Porsche's head of motorsport, Hartmut Kristen, is also looking forward to working with Audi:
"Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas are without doubt two of the best drivers at the wheel of a sports prototype. That's why we are happy to lend them to our colleagues in Ingolstadt. Now the cooperation between the Porsche and Audi brands will also bear fruit in motorsport."