Puzzling Out The Porsche Drivers’ Drives
It’s always an interesting exercise trying to work out where the factory Porsche drivers will end up, as a new season approaches.

2006 is rather different from other years, because four of them will be regularly racing the Penske DHL RS Spyders in the ALMS: that’s Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard of course, joined at Sebring and Petit Le Mans by Patrick Long and Emmanuel Collard.

Marc Lieb has chosen to step back a little from driving duties this year (and concentrate on his studies), but he’s confirmed in an Autorlando Porsche for the 2006 Le Mans Series.

There’s no confirmed programme for the AJR / Emory Motorsports Crawford Porsche for this year, yet, this the car that Luhr, Long and Mike Rockenfeller drove so hard and so well in the Rolex 24.

Rockenfeller, with an as yet unknown partner, is likely to race the AJR 911 GT3-RSR in the American Le Mans Series: the GT2 rivals are assembling in numbers this year for that series, so presumably Rockenfeller will find himself driving with a very quick partner.

Tim Sugden hasn’t confirmed any plans for this year, but the 2005 Porsche Cup winner is as keen as ever to race as regularly as possible, on both sides of the continent. GruppeM hasn’t made any 2006 announcement either, yet, although the Noble-GruppeM Porsche will be on the Le Mans entry list, if the team’s application is successful.

Ebimotors has long been rumoured to be a serious GT2 entrant in the FIA GT Championship, and that entry is likely to be driven by Emmanuel Collard and Luca Riccitelli. The Italian has been racing for the team in the Italian GT Championship, and another, regular FIA GT drive fits in with Collard’s Porsche prototype drives, and racing for Pescarolo in the LMS and at Le Mans.

Le Mans seats (in Porsches) are yet to become at all clear, and won’t until entries are confirmed by the ACO – but the situation here is confused by the fact that the race clashes with the Nurburgring 24 Hours, as it did in 2004, when Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard ended up racing in Germany rather than France.

Currently only Petersen-White Lightning and Sebah have confirmed (Porsche) entries for Le Mans, and neither team has announced drivers for 2006.

 

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