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Dempsey-Proton Takes GTE-Am Win

Dempsey-Proton Racing dominates en route to GTE-Am class win at Le Mans…

Photo: MPS Agency

The Dempsey-Proton Racing trio of Matt Campbell, Christian Reid, and Julien Andlauer swept to the class lead in Hour 3 and were rarely challenged en route to GTE-Am class honors in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It marked the first class win in the race for the German squad since its GT2 triumph in 2010 the first Le Mans victory for co-owner Patrick Dempsey.

Its lineup, which features a pair of race rookies in Campbell and Andlauer, was the class of the GTE-Am field.

Campbell was charged with bringing the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR home, crossing the line ahead of the second-placed No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci, and Giancarlo Fisichella.

The No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari was poised to take second in class but a late-race spin by Ben Keating, who beached the Prancing Horse in Mulsanne Corner, saw the Risi Competizione-run squad fall back to third. 

It came after an early-race off-course excursion by co-driver Jeroen Bleekemolen, which cost the American team roughly 90 seconds.

The No. 99 Proton Competition Porsche, featuring the race’s only all-American driver lineup, came home fourth in class while the No. 84 WeatherTech-backed JMW Motorsport Ferrari finished fifth, despite losing two laps in the 16th hour after Jeff Segal spun into the gravel at Indianapolis.

Attrition struck several early contenders, beginning with the No. 86 Gulf Racing Porsche that led early in the running.

The British team’s race began to go awry after a slow puncture in the first stint and was ultimately undone when Mike Wainwright made hard wall contact in Indianapolis in Hour 2.

After lengthy repairs the car returned to the track and soldiered home to an 11th place class finish.

GTE-Am points leader Paul Dalla Lana saw his race end in Hour 7 following contact with the wall at the Porsche Curves and was retired shortly after midnight.

Another contender, the GTE-Am class pole-sitting No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, retired in Hour 18 due to Matteo Cairoli’s accident in the Ford Chicane, which appeared to be have been triggered by a mechanical issue.

RESULTS: 24H Le Mans

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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