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Porsche will mount its first full-season factory campaign in the history of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup next year.
The factory Manthey Racing squad will run a solo Porsche 911 GT-R in the BGTS enduros as part of an increased commitment by the German manufacturer to the GT3 category, which will include a full assault on the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
The 911 GT3-R run by Manthey, which is part owned by Porsche, will be driven in a series that includes the Spa 24 Hours, by Frederic Makowiecki, Romain Dumas and Dirk Werner.
The same trio of drivers will fight for the title in the IGTC, which incorporates Spa and three other big GT3 enduros around the world.
For the three rounds outside Europe at Bathurst, Suzuka and Laguna Seca, they will be placed with a local team.
Porsche has previously only been represented by overt factory entries at the blue-riband Spa round of the BGTS Endurance Cup, which was formerly known as the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Factory LMP1 racer Timo Bernhard’s eponymous team ran a 911 GT3-R for a trio of Porsche drivers in the Belgian enduro this year, while Manthey fielded a factory car in 2013.
Manthey’s BGTS programme will be the first full-season pro class campaign by a team running Porsches since 2013.
The customer ProSpeed squad fielded a pro entry in the full series in 2011-13, taking one of only two overall victories by a Porsche in the series at the Nurburgring in 2012.
Manthey will also again represent Porsche at the Nurburgring 24 Hours in May.
It will enter a pair of factory GT3 cars in the enduro around the Nurburgring-Nordschleife on May 12/13.
Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Patrick Pilet will drive one, and Nick Tandy, Dumas, Richard Lietz and Makowiecki the other.
Porsche is expecting to be represented by a further three cars with pro line-ups and to have 13 of its 18 factory drivers present for the race.