Neel Jani is feeling excited ahead of his FIA WEC return to his Le Mans 24 Hours and championship-winning marque, albeit in a 911 RSR GTE.
The 37-year-old racked up seven seasons of experience in the World Endurance Championship excluding a year in the preceding championship, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
After a challenging campaign in the Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, Pascal Wehrlein replaced him for the next season (7).
He makes his full-time return in endurance racing with Porsche, sharing driving duties with Kevin Estre for this year.
“Sebring cancelled, Portimão postponed – now the WEC season finally takes off,” he said on the delayed start to Season 9.
“I’m super excited and very curious about the first laps in the Porsche 911 RSR at Spa-Francorchamps.
“I have many fond memories of this track from my LMP1 days. That’s what makes it so interesting.”
The 2016 WEC LMP drivers’ champion has yet to taste victory at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps during his years at Porsche and Rebellion Racing.
Jani’s racing record shows that he has competed at all but one Le Mans 24 Hours (2020) from 2009, primarily in LMP1 machinery.
His most recent 911 RSR taster was during a Hockenheim private test session for the #91 and #92 drivers, and a 12 Hours of Sebring in 2020 being his maiden taste of the GTE.
“I’ve driven a lot of prototypes there and turned a record lap (1m41.770s) in the Ardennes with the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo.”
“I now have to find completely new reference points in the GTE-Pro car. So it’s very fortunate to have those two test days in Spa beforehand.”
The Prologue (official testing at Spa-Francorchamps) days on Monday and Tuesday will open Season 9 proceedings whilst the opener will take place towards the end of the week.