Porsche takes home WEC trophies at end-of-season FIA gala

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Porsche enjoyed a fruitful night at the FIA end-of-season gala in Paris as its victorious LMP1 and GTE teams picked up their FIA World Endurance Championship trophies.

The ceremony on the Champs-Elysées in Paris saw the winners of the FIA championships finally take home the silverware won across the course of the 2015 season, as well as honoring many of the outstanding performances during the racing year.

Porsche dominated proceedings in the FIA WEC in 2015, winning the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships in both LMP and GT classes as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

The no. 17 crew of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard won the overall WEC drivers’ title in Bahrain, and all three were on hand to receive their trophy in Paris on Friday.

“To win a world championship title with Porsche as a driver is a massive moment,” Webber said. “I’m very proud of my grand prix victories but to put together this campaign with the team is right up there.

“It’s not an easy thing to achieve and to have won it with Porsche, which is such a famous sportscar brand, is certainly another very special feather in my cap.

“Porsche last won the drivers title 29 years ago and it’s nice to be part of that piece of history with Timo and Brendon.”

Porsche LMP1 vice-president Fritz Enzinger was on hand to collect the manufacturers’ trophy, and revelled in the success the German marque has enjoyed less than two years since returning to top line sportscar racing.

“Congratulations firstly to Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber for their well deserved world championship title,” Enzinger said.

“In what is only our second year in the WEC, we as the Porsche team first won Le Mans and then took both world championship titles – it is still difficult to believe this has happened.

“Thanks to the whole team and to all our technical partners and sponsors, who have supported us right from the beginning of this programme and who deserve a big share of this success.”

GT drivers’ champion Richard Lietz and the Porsche Team Manthey squad also claimed their respective world title awards in Paris.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.