Roger Penske's Porsche RS Spyders will have three-driver lineups for March's ALMS kickoff, the 12 Hours of Sebring. Car #7's regular duo of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas will be joined by a very familiar name from the Penske stable: Helio Castroneves. The IndyCar driver (and two-time Indy 500 champ) will undoubtedly do his best to snag a season-opening win for the #7 car. If that happens, will "Spider-Man" be able to coax Bernhard and Dumas into a little post-race fence-climbing?
Follow the jump for Porsche's press release detailing what their factory drivers will be up to in 2007.
Strong squad for the new season: Porsche factory drivers to perform worldwide in 2007
Stuttgart. With a strong lineup of nine factory drivers, who will perform
worldwide in the American Le Mans Series, the US Grand Am Series, the FIA
GT Championship, and the European-based Le Mans Series, Porsche is well
prepared to compete for the 2007 season.
For the first time since the beginning of the American Le Mans Series, a
single manufacturer has claimed two class drivers titles, and the two
reigning class champions are two of the Porsche factory drivers. Sascha
Maassen (Belgium) claimed the LMP2 drivers championship in the RS Spyder,
while Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) won his second consecutive ALMS GT2 title
in the 911 GT3 RSR.
In the Porsche tradition of home-grown driver talent, Timo Bernhard
(Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and Marc Lieb (Germany) have joined
Emmanuel Collard (France) and Patrick Long (USA) as returning factory
drivers. New to the factory squad are Australian IndyCar pilot Ryan Briscoe
and Austrian Porsche Supercup star Richard Lietz, who petitioned for the
position after his top finishes in 2006.
In the American Le Mans Series, Sascha Maassen returns to the #6 Penske
Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder, and will be joined by Ryan Briscoe for the
entire 12-race season. Emmanual Collard will join them as a third driver
in Sebring. The #7 Penske RS Spyder will be driven by Timo Bernhard and
Romain Dumas. In Sebring they will be joined by Brazilian IndyCar driver
Helio Castroneves, who is contracted by Penske Racing for the 2007 IndyCar
Series. He is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 (2001 and 2002).
Completing the lineup for the RS Spyder squad is Patrick Long, who will
also compete in the American Le Mans Series in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as
well as in the Alex Job Racing Porsche Daytona Prototype in the Grand Am
Series. Emmanuel Collard, in addition to being a third driver in the RS
Spyder, will compete in the Daytona 24 Hours as well as in the FIA GT
American Le Mans Series GT2 drivers champion Jörg Bergmeister will compete
as a driver in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as well as
in the Alex Job Daytona prototype in the Grand Am Series.
Elsewhere, in the European-based Le Mans Series, Marc Lieb will drive for
the Proton team, while Richard Lietz will drive for IMSA/Matmut – both in
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race cars.