Hulkenberg confirmed for Porsche LMP1 at Spa and Le Mans

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A Formula One driver is going to race with Porsche in 2015.

It’s not that one, though. Yet, anyways.

Porsche has confirmed Nico Hulkenberg as one of its drivers for its third Porsche 919 Hybrid for two races in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Hulkenberg will be in the car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans June 13-14 and Spa as a warmup act on May 2. The Le Mans test day occurs May 31, and Hulkenberg will be there as well.

F1 is off all three weekends, so this won’t interfere with Hulkenberg’s season at Force India. After Spa, F1 heads to the Spanish Grand Prix and the week before Le Mans, Hulkenberg will be in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix.

“Porsche and Le Mans – this combination probably attracts every race driver,” Hulkenberg said in a Porsche release. “I’ve been a Porsche fan for a long time and have been watching their return to the LMP1 class closely. The desire grew to drive that car at Le Mans. I am very pleased the 2015 Formula One calendar allows for it and I’m grateful to my Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments.”

Hulkenberg will become the first active F1 driver to race at Le Mans in the same year since Sebastien Bourdais with Peugeot in 2009. He has some Porsche experience, having tested the 911 GT3-R Hybrid at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 2010.

Said Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl, “Having caught the interest of another world class driver like Nico is validation for the job the entire Porsche LMP1 crew had done in our first WEC season. Now we will prepare Nico for his new challenges such as dealing with the traffic of the slower GT cars and racing into the Le Mans night. We have got a road map in place which should enable him to exploit his driving abilities at his Le Mans debut. We’re looking forward to working with Nico and we want to thank the Sahara Force India F1 Team and team principal Vijay Mallya for loaning him to us.”

Porsche’s GTE pilots – Fred Makowiecki, Nick Tandy, Michael Christensen among them – are likely to be in contention for the two seats alongside Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg will now be a teammate with Mark Webber, who he raced against in F1 from 2010 through 2013.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.