Sunday, September 29, 2013

Missing Porsche P1 pilot

For their 2014 LMP1 campaign in the FIA WEC, Porsche has so far only announced 4 drivers. That exclusive list includes the manufacturer's flagship driver pair of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernard, Red Bull F1 driver, Mark Webber, and former Rebellion Racing driver Neel Jani. This being Porsche, you always knew they would have a strong lineup. But their announcements have left us wanting.

Patrick Long ran a full 2008 season with Penske Racing during the RS Spyder program. His teammate during that year was Sascha Maassen. Out of all Porsche's current factory drivers who drove the factory backed Penske RS Spyders, Patrick Long is the only one who has not been given the nod.

Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen, and Emmanuel Collard, were all factory drivers who drove the Penske Spyders. But none of them are still in the employ of the Stuttgart make. We almost expected Porsche's only American factory driver to be a shoe-in for the LMP1 drive. It's possible he is one of the drivers, but if that was so, he would have been announced well in advance. After all the U.S is their biggest market and the American viewing public is not one to be taken lightly.

At the last ALMS race in Austin, the big news from Porsche was their 2-car factory entry in next year's USCR championship with Core Autosport. Since that is the team Patrick is currently driving with, perhaps he will be with, it's likely he will be with them next year. Definitely not a bad gig, but prototype machinery is simply more enticing to watch, and him being in one of those exotic machines would make us and a whole lot of sports car racing fans in the U.S appreciate the WEC even more.