With Porsche having announced its pullout of LMP1 at the end of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, one of the questions that follows is what will happen to its six full-season drivers.
At least one of them has a new season set later this year, with confirmation Thursday Neel Jani will switch to the FIA Formula E Championship with Faraday Future Dragon Racing.
Jani replaces Loic Duval in the lineup, the Jay Penske-led team still continuing on with Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio in the other car.
The Swiss driver has had quite a run in sports cars of late, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and last year’s FIA WEC LMP1 title with Porsche, after some success with Rebellion Racing prior to that.
Of course Jani has also had a wealth of single-seater, open-wheel experience too. He also competed for A1 Team Switzerland in A1 Grand Prix, helping the team capture the 2007-2008 title and finishing runner-up in 2005-2006 and 2008-2009. In 2007, he raced for PKV Racing in the North American Champ Car series and is also a GP2 Series race winner and former Formula One test driver.
“We are thrilled to welcome Neel who will pilot our number 6 entry in Season 4” said Penske, Team Owner and Principal of Dragon Racing. “As a team, we have set our target of winning races and competing for the championship in the coming season, and Neel was an essential component of that equation. When you look at the best drivers in the world, from both a racing and car development perspective, Neel is at the top of the list. He’s an excellent fit within our program.”
“I am thrilled to join the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team in the next season of the FIA Formula E Championship,” Jani said. “I’ve recently tested the PENSKE EV-2 powered by Faraday Future and look forward to building my knowledge and experience with the team and competing in the acclaimed electric racing series.”
Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor delivered Team Penske’s first victory this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, winning at Road America from the pole position Sunday and moving up to sixth in points after finishing no better than seventh in the first three races this season.
The Team Penske No. 7 Acura DPi led a race-high 48 of 63 laps, including the final four after Castroneves seized a restart to take first from Renger van der Zande, who finished second with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi.
Other class winners at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course were the No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 of Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley in LMP2, the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in GTLM and the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 of Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo in GTD.
RAIN-SOAKED RELIEF: Castroneves delivers Penske’s first win with late pass
Here are the race stats, points and results from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America:
RESULTS: Click here for the overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.
POINTS: In the DPi standings, the No. 10 Cadillac of Briscoe and van der Zande leads by six points (124-118) over the No. 5 Cadillac of Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais.
The No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor leads the GTLM standings with 130 points, 10 more than the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.
In GTD, the No. 12 Lexus of Bell and Montecalvo moved into the lead by four points (121-117) over AIM Vasser Sullivan teammates Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz in the No. 14 Lexus.
The No. 38 of Performance Tech Motorsport leads in LMP2.
Click here for the points standings for drivers and teams after Road America.
STATS PACKAGE FOR ROAD AMERICA:
Fastest laps by driver
Fastest laps by driver after race
Fastest laps by driver and class after race
Fastest lap sequence
Race analysis by lap
NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT classes will race Aug. 21-22 at Virginia International Raceway.