ROWE Racing is targeting a second Total 24 Hours of Spa victory after confirming that it will switch to Porsche machinery to contest this season’s Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
The accomplished German outfit will field one of the Stuttgart marque’s new-spec 911 GT3s at all five events this term, with a second entry set to bolster its assault on the blue riband race at Spa.
Both crews feature a wealth of Porsche’s top GT talent. The full-season machine will see factory ace Dirk Werner joined by rising stars Matt Campbell and Dennis Olsen, a crew that was announced by the brand at its Night of Champions gala in December.
The Spa-only entry will feature three well-established factory drivers: multiple Blancpain GT Series race-winner Frederic Makowiecki, his fellow countryman Patrick Pilet, and British ace Nick Tandy. All three have achieved major success in GT racing, while Makowiecki transfers over from a full Endurance Cup campaign with Manthey Racing in 2018.
"It is a real honour for us that such a renowned manufacturer that enjoys great success in motorsport such as Porsche is placing their trust in our team to compete with the latest generation of the 911 GT3 R,” commented team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf.
"The name Porsche has a special ring to it in motorsport as a whole and in the sports car sector in particular. We not only have an extremely competitive race car, but also get to work with first-class Porsche drivers, whose successes speak for themselves.
"We are particularly looking forward to Spa, a track that we have the very best memories of. We definitely want to be fighting for the win there again, and would love to repeat the success of 2016."
The ROWE squad’s switch to Porsche machinery follows three years campaigning BMWs in the Blancpain GT Series, which saw the partnership take a Total 24 Hours of Spa victory at the first time of asking in 2016. Prior to this the team used Mercedes-AMG equipment, making a one-off appearance at Spa in 2013 and joining full-time in 2015.
The new partnership forms part of a renewed effort by the iconic Porsche brand, which contested its first factory-backed assault on the Endurance Cup with a single car last term. The full-season ROWE entry is one of two efforts that will hit the track in 2019, with the second crew of Romain Dumas, Sven Müller and Mathieu Jaminet still to be assigned to a team.
There will also be new independent Porsche efforts by Italian outfit Dinamic Motorsport, which will tackle the Pro class, and Dubai-based GPX Racing, which intends to tackle the Silver Cup.