Earl Bamber will transition into a new role with Porsche for 2021 after the Kiwi was one of six drivers confirmed today that they would be released as factory drivers.
With Porsche withdrawing its support from its works GT Le Mans IMSA programme, Bamber will move to a new customer support role with his EBM Team Hardpoint GT Daytona project.
Despite no longer holding full factory status for the first time since 2015, Bamber will “still have the opportunity to represent Porsche” in events next year.
Most notably is the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, which Porsche says they aim to have almost all drivers from its squad compete in after they withdrew from this year’s event owing to positive Covid-19 tests.
As part of his new customer support role with Porsche, Bamber will also work with Porsche GT customer teams in next year’s GT World Challenge Europe series as a designated driver.
Fellow Kiwi Jaxon Evans has also had his position as a Porsche Junior driver come to an end. He will now have the opportunity to race for customer teams around the world.
Joining Bamber in leaving the Porsche stable as factory drivers include Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, Sven Mueller, Dirk Werner and Michael Christensen.
Porsche now has a slimmed-down 14-driver roster, reflecting its decision to pull out from the IMSA Championship.
Australian GT star Matt Campbell becomes the only Australasian works driver, and the only driver from the Southern Hemisphere to hold factory status.
Pascal Wehrlein makes the graduation to the German powerhouse squad as its lead Formula E driver.
Neel Jani, who was replaced by Wehrlein in the team’s Formula E ranks, makes the shift to the World Endurance Championship where he will race one of two 911 RSRs in the GTE class.
He will remain a nominated reserve for the Formula E squad of Wehrlein and Andre Lotterer, along with test driver Simona da Silvestro.
With Evans’ Junior term having come to an end, Ayhancan Guven becomes the sole Porsche Junior for 2021.
The annual young driver evaluation to choose a second Junior to work alongside Guven was cancelled this year amid ongoing travel restrictions.
Porsche’s 2021 Factory line-up:
- Gianmaria Bruni (I)
- Matt Campbell (AUS)
- Romain Dumas (F)
- Kevin Estre (F)
- Mathieu Jaminet (F)
- Neel Jani (CH)
- Richard Lietz (A)
- Patrick Long (USA)
- Andre Lotterer (D)
- Frederic Makowiecki (F)
- Thomas Preining (F)
- Simona de Silvestro (CH)
- Laurens Vanthoor (B)
- Pascal Wehrlein (D)
- Julien Andlauer – young professional (F)
- Ayhancan Guven – junior driver (TR)