L&T Motorsport

World Champion Jani can enjoy racing again

Neel Jani says a weight was lifted from his shoulders by winning the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016.

The Swiss driver has been an integral part of Porsche’s 919 Hybrid LMP1 project since the outset of the programme in 2014, and was rewarded for his hard work by winning both the World Endurance Drivers Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours last year.

“I think we have proven that we can win now,” Jani said. “I have done it all once and that was the minimum I wanted, so the second time is a bonus. Now we can enjoy racing again, we don’t have to just look at the results!”

The 33-year-old will be a part of a much-changed line-up in the No. 1 Porsche this year, with Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas stepping aside. They will be replaced by Audi refugee André Lotterer and Nick Tandy, who is making a full-time move to LMP1 after winning Le Mans in 2015.

“I have only done one test with them but André I knew for a long time, we have the same trainer so we trained already together in Austria many times. Nick I don’t know that well, but we all know that both of them are quick.

“André, we don’t have to talk about as his record speaks for itself, and Nick has already shown in 2015 that he is ready for a factory P1 drive, so I’m really looking forward to sharing with them.”

 Neel Jani says a weight was lifted from his shoulders by winning the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016.
The Swiss driver has been an integral part of Porsche’s 919 Hybrid LMP1 project since the outset of the programme in 2014, and was rewarded for his hard work by winning both the World Endurance Drivers Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours last year.

“I think we have proven that we can win now,” Jani said. “I have done it all once and that was the minimum I wanted, so the second time is a bonus. Now we can enjoy racing again, we don’t have to just look at the results!”

The 33-year-old will be a part of a much-changed line-up in the No. 1 Porsche this year, with Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas stepping aside. They will be replaced by Audi refugee André Lotterer and Nick Tandy, who is making a full-time move to LMP1 after winning Le Mans in 2015.

“I have only done one test with them but André I knew for a long time, we have the same trainer so we trained already together in Austria many times. Nick I don’t know that well, but we all know that both of them are quick.

“André, we don’t have to talk about as his record speaks for itself, and Nick has already shown in 2015 that he is ready for a factory P1 drive, so I’m really looking forward to sharing with them.”

Jani expects to see more close racing with Toyota in 2017, but knows Porsche cannot afford to rest on its laurels if it is to retain its title.

“I hope it will be tight, I hope we will be close between the two manufacturers, because that’s what we saw last year and that’s what made it so interesting,” he said.

“There will be upgrades, for sure we have to improve because we know Toyota was catching up at the end of last year and we know they have some other big steps in their pocket so we knew we have to do something, if it’s enough, we’ll see.”

However, Jani did reveal that he won’t be assigning too much significance to running the No.1 on his door this year.

“I had it in Formula Renault already in my junior days – I wouldn’t put too much weight onto the number of the car,” he added.

“I think in the end that it’s a driver line-up and a fair share of luck that you need…”

Photo/Article Credit: Adrenal Media and FIA WEC

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