The CORE autosport-run factory GTE Pro Porsche 911 RSR 19s have been withdrawn from the 2020 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, RACER has learned. They join the Garage 56 Association SRT41 effort in withdrawing from the race, which has been pushed back to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move brings the GTE Pro entry for Le Mans down to nine cars.
Porsche’s decision to scale back its effort is understood to have been prompted by the need to reduce the cost of running at the event amid COVID-19 restrictions. The manufacturer’s two FIA WEC full-season cars, which are fighting for the GTE Pro world championship, will race as planned with their six previously confirmed drivers. In the No. 91 Gianmaria Bruni will race with Richard Lietz and third driver Fred Makowiecki. The sister No. 92 Porsche will compete with reigning GTE champions Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen, alongside Laurens Vanthoor in the third seat.
The six drivers set to race with CORE in the IMSA full-season 911s, though, are not currently down to race in the French endurance classic. Previous overall Le Mans winners Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy, and 2018 GTE Am winner Matt Campbell — who were due to drive the No. 93 — are off the list, as are Julien Andlauer (who would have been making his GTE Pro Le Mans debut along with Campbell), Mathieu Jaminet and Patrick Pilet, who were set to race in the No. 94.
Porsche’s decision opens the door for three cars from the reserve list to be promoted to the official entry. Spirit of Race’s No. 55 Ferrari (headed by Duncan Cameron) is understood to be ready to race as first reserve, while the ByKolles CLM LMP1 is second on the list and IDEC Sport’s second ORECA 07 Gibson is third. It would be the French IDEC team’s first time at Le Mans with two cars.