Porsche Turns to Retired Drivers as Health Crisis Hits Le Mans Team

This weekend’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race is not an event Porsche could easily miss, like say the IMSA Mid-Ohio event. And that means not even a health crisis of global proportions will stop the Germans from being on the starting grid.
Porsche ready for Nürburgring 2020 7 photos
Photo: Porsche
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At the beginning of the week, soon after the end of the endurance race at Le Mans, Porsche said on-site testing at the event returned three positive tests among its staff. That quickly prompted the carmaker into pulling the entire team that took part in Le Mans from the Nürburgring list, and announced it would skip the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

In all, nine racing drivers and four customer teams were affected by the decision for Nürburgring, and the entire GT team for the Mid-Ohio race.

On Thursday, Porsche announced the new lineup for the Nürburgring. Former works drivers Timo Bernhard and Jörg Bergmeister were brought back from retirement and will be put behind the wheel of 911 GT3 R cars.

“The company has done a lot for me in the past and I think now there’s a chance to return something. The spirit that we have at Porsche is that we’re not individuals, but a team. I might look slow this weekend because I haven’t done 100 laps before the race – but we’re racers and we’re here for when the brand needs us. We’ll do our best,” said in a statement Timo Bernhard.

There will be a total of seven 911 GT3 R cars running in the top SP9 category, all fielded by Porsche customer teams: KCMG, Huber, Frikadelli Racing Team and Falken Motorsport.

One of the race’s and the fans’ favorites, Manthey-Racing Porsche, is sidelined because of the same positive results revealed by Porsche at the beginning of the week.

Porsche's presence at the Nürburgring is a massive one, as about a third of the cars competing are wearing the badge of the Stuttgart manufacturer.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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