GT ace Kevin Estre joins Porsche from McLaren for 2016

Frenchman Kevin Estre has joined Porsche's roster of factory GT drivers for next season, and is set to partner Nick Tandy in the Le Mans 24 Hours

GT ace Kevin Estre joins Porsche from McLaren for 2016

The 27-year-old, who made his reputation in Porsche's one-make cups, has become the 10th full factory GT driver on the manufacturer's books after signing from McLaren.

Porsche drops GTE WEC programme for 2016

Estre's programme for 2016 will include the Le Mans 24 Hours, entry permitting, the long-distance rounds of the IMSA SportsCar Championship and the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

"All the years I spent racing Porsches in the past makes this a really good fit," Estre told Autosport.

"This is a fantastic opportunity in my career."

The factory deal for Estre follows a one-off outing with the Manthey squad at the Spa World Endurance Championship round last May.

Estre also thanked McLaren, with which he won two rounds of the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2015, for his two years with the brand.

"They gave me the chance to be a factory driver, which is something that means a lot and gave me a lot of experience," he said.

Estre joins Tandy, Earl Bamber, Richard Lietz, Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet, Frederic Makowiecki, Michael Christensen, Patrick Long and Wolf Henzler as a Porsche factory GT driver.

He would race at Le Mans next year with Tandy and Pilet.

The second car would be driven by Bamber, Makowiecki and Bergmeister.

Estre will also do the IMSA enduros that make up North American Endurance Cup alongside Tandy and Pilet in the factory CORE Autosport line-up.

Tandy and Pilet maintain the relationship that yielded four GT Le Mans class victories in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship last season.

Makowiecki will contest a full US programme next year with CORE alongside Bamber, with the duo being joined by Christensen for the long races.

Bergmeister steps down from the CORE GTLM squad to compete in a 911 GT3-R for Park Place Motorsports in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA series and will also race the GT3 car in GT300 class of the Super GT series in Japan

Long will race for Alex Job Racing in GTD and for the EFFORT team in the Pirelli World Challenge.

Henzler will race for the Falken Motorsports at the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

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