Porsche has announced that Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas will not be racing for its LMP1 team in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.
Lieb (left) and Dumas (center) have raced alongside Neel Jani (right) since Porsche returned to the top line of sportscar racing in 2014, with the trio winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC title in 2016 in the no. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
However, less than a week after clinching the world title in Bahrain, Lieb and Dumas have now lost their LMP1 seats for the 2017 season as part of a reshuffle of Porsche’s line-up.
“From the end of the season, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb leave the LMP1-Team and their seats in the over 900 hp 919 Hybrid Le Mans prototypes to begin new tasks at Porsche,” a statement from Porsche reads.
“Both the French and German racers each have long careers as works drivers. This year, their achievements were crowned by taking the overall win at the Le Mans 24-hour race together and by winning the drivers’ title in the FIA World Endurance Championship last weekend in Bahrain.
“In fact, each driver is a long-distance expert; Dumas (38) has a tally of eight overall victories in international 24-hour races with Porsche, Lieb (36) has six of such successes to his records.
“And this expertise is secure in the company; both highly accomplished experts remain under contract at Porsche.”
“The LMP1 program has benefitted immensely from Marc’s and Romain’s experience, especially during the team’s build-up phase and in Le Mans. Together we went through some highs and lows in recent years,” Porsche LMP1 vice-president Fritz Enzinger said.
“I am very pleased that both true racers can conclude this part of their Porsche career as Le Mans winners and world champions.
“I thank Marc and Romain from the depth of my heart for their high performance driving, their strong commitment and their loyalty.”
Lieb and Dumas join Mark Webber in leaving the Porsche LMP1 program, with the Australian retiring from racing following the 6 Hours of Bahrain.
Following Audi’s departure from the WEC, three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer is expected to take one of the seats at Porsche, while 2015 Le Mans victors and Porsche factory drivers Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber are also in the running to move up.