There is a different look to Gianmaria Bruni this weekend at Watkins Glen. After many years as a Ferrari ace, the Italian is now officially a Porsche works driver.
The 36-year-old three-time Le Mans winner joins the team at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen for his first race in the new No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR partnering Laurens Vanthoor.
“When I got into the plane in the USA I didn’t really know what was coming, but my expectations were exceeded,” Bruni said.
“I’ve received a very warm welcome from everyone and I immediately felt at home. Although I’ve only experienced the team during the short tests at Road America, I was very impressed by the professional way the guys worked there.
“And my new teammate Laurens and I clicked immediately. So this makes me all the more excited for the first race at Watkins Glen and for the rest of the season.”
Despite his vast experience, including wins at Le Mans in 2008 (on debut), 2012 and 2014, plus two titles in World Endurance Championship competition; Bruni will still have an uphill battle as he contests the rest of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Porsche.
“It’s been seven years since I contested a full season in the USA. The races there have their own rules, they’re difficult to gauge,” he said.
“The many safety car phases can turn everything upside down at any time. Until you’ve crossed the finish line, you can never know where you’ll end up. This is completely different to, say, the WEC, but it’s still a wonderful challenge.