An auto manufacturer’s racing program traditionally represents the pinnacle of its technological potential. At Porsche, though, its street car and motorsport departments are on equal grounds, work together to help enrich one other. One man with a foot in both divisions is Porsche factory driver and ex-Formula One star, Mark Webber.
Webber joined Porsche in 2014 to compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the organization’s new LMP1 sports prototype, the 919 Hybrid. The 919 has proven to be a pinnacle in Porsche’s technological ingenuity claiming multiple victories, including four with Webber and a victory at Le Mans earlier this year.
At the core of the 919 is technology originally developed for Porsche’s street cars, which, in part, has attributed to its success. The sharing of technology is something Webber has actively experienced, having the opportunity to drive many of Porsche’s street cars, as well.
The Australian took time out of his hectic weekend schedule, at the Circuit of the Americas WEC race, to discuss how Porsche’s demanding advancements in technology have benefited both its motorsport program and its street cars.
Excellence: What enticed you to join Porsche after leaving Formula One?
Webber: I’ve had a good relationship with Porsche over the last couple of years. When I was getting closer to the decision to stop F1, I knew I still wanted to race at a top level and keep challenging myself. You don’t ignore it if Porsche comes knocking on your door—it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I had 911s long before I was with Porsche, from the 997s through now to the 991s. It’s the most famous sports car brand in the world and for me to join their return to Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship was a no brainer.