One Of Porsche's Cast-Off Le Mans Drivers Already Found A New Ride In Formula E

Photo credit: Porsche
Photo credit: Porsche

Porsche 919 driver Neel Jani is one of the drivers who seemed to be out of luck after Porsche announced they were closing their World Endurance Championship program after this year. Now Faraday Future Dragon Racing announced that they’ve hired Jani to drive before Porsche even gets their Formula E team up and running.

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Porsche is set to enter Formula E in 2019, leaving its current slate of top-level factory LMP1-class drivers in WEC with nowhere to go that’s really at that same level for a year. So, 2016 Le Mans winner Jani found his own place to land in the series Porsche is eventually going to enter.

Jani will take ex-Audi LMP1 driver Loïc Duval’s spot on the Dragon Racing team alongside Jerome D’Ambrosio. While this news comes alongside reports that the team struggles to work well together and that Faraday Future may axe its partnership with Dragon Racing to save cash, it seems clear that Jani also has his sights set on being with the Porsche team in 2019 anyway.

Jani told Autosport that this is all one big learning experience:

I’m contracted to Porsche next year anyway.

For now, we’re finishing the WEC season, then everything will fall into place.

It’s an advantage for me to be able to learn at Dragon.

But I want to stay at Porsche for the longer term.

I think this is Porsche factory driver-ese for “pick me! me! me please! me,” especially since Formula E is set to replace the LMP1 program as Porsche’s flagship racing effort. In other words, Jani isn’t quite set to give up his place as Porsche’s favorite race car son just yet.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

DISCUSSION

fake-plastic-eye
fake-plastic-eye

Nice to see he’s found a ride while he waits for Porsche to get their 2019 plan together. This sure was a sad statement to read though

Formula E is set to replace the LMP1 program as Porsche’s flagship racing effort

I get it, it makes sense business wise. Formula E’s reach per dollar has to be incredible compared to LMP1, but I just can’t see this as anything but a huge step backwards as far as the racing goes. I would think the GTE or IMSA GTLM programs are more illustrious than FE? The level of racing, the speed, the rivalry, it’s just not there yet. I have high hopes it will one day be a great series but right now there’s nothing flagship about Formula E unless you are on Porsche’s marketing team.