Porsche has announced that at the end of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season, Mark Webber will quit his professional racing career to become Porsche special representative.
The six-hour race in Bahrain on November 19 will be the last time the reigning World Champion from Australia will compete as a works driver. Afterwards, he will represent Porsche at global events and as a consultant will contribute by lending his experience to the motorsport programmes of the sports car automaker. This includes talent research as well as driver training for up and coming professionals and the huge number of worldwide Porsche amateur racers. Alongside rally legend Walter Röhrl (69) Webber is now Porsche’s second representative.
“Mark Webber stands for everything what Porsche implies: sportsmanship, power of endurance, straightforwardness and focused work for success. He is full of beans and always a thoughtful listener. I want to thank Mark for his great performance in the World Endurance Championship and am pleased he will remain tightly connected to Porsche in the future”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche AG.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1, is sorry to see the driver retire from the cockpit. “Already in the important period of building up the programme, Mark has strengthened us with all his experience and he seamlessly integrated himself into the team. Behind the wheel he is a fair fighter, never shy of even the toughest wheel-to-wheel battle. At the same time, he thinks strategically and is team orientated. This mixture makes him invaluable as an endurance racer. Winning the 2015 drivers’ world championship together with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley almost seemed to be a logical consequence. Also thanks to his performance, we hope to win the world championship titles for manufacturers and drivers again in 2016.”
Currently the Porsche Team ranks first in both classifications. In the manufacturers’ world championship Porsche leads with 238 points ahead of Audi (185) and Toyota (137). Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb have a 37.5 lead ahead of the best placed Audi trio. There are still three races remaining.
“I have arrived where I belong“, says Mark Webber. “Porsche is the brand I always loved most and the one that suits me the best. The 911 is iconic – it has got elegance, performance and understatement, and is never intrusive. It is just the right car for every scenario.” He continues: “I will miss the sheer speed, downforce and competition, but I want to leave on a high and I’m very much looking forward to my new tasks.”
Mark Webber has no need to quit his professional racing career. His lap times still top the time sheets, he remains fit, his experience is priceless and his relationship with his teammates has bonded into lasting friendships. Webber always knew what he wanted after his successful Formula One career. “It was a big change from Formula One to LMP1 and an entirely new experience. But it came at the right time for me. I found I liked sharing a car and the chemistry between Timo, Brendon and me is special and something I’ll always remember. It will be strange getting into the race car for the very last time in Bahrain but for now I will thoroughly enjoy every moment of the remaining races.”
Since 1991 everything in Mark Webber’s life has been dedicated to racing. Karting, Formula Ford, Formula 3, Formula 3000, 215 Formula One Grands Prix including 9 victories and 42 podiums in what is the pinnacle of motor racing. In 2013 he found his home at Porsche.
As early as in 2015 he became FIA World Endurance Champion, a title he was fighting hard for, together with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in their 919 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype. 2016 though marks a year of changes in the life of the popular Australian. Early this summer he married his long-time partner Ann, on August 27 he turned 40 and at the end of the 2016 season he will give up with professional racing to take on his new role as Porsche’s special representative and consultant.