Proton Competition will operate Ryan Hardwick’s GTE-Am class entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the accomplished Bronze-rated driver having chosen the Porsche 911 RSR-19 to make his debut in the French endurance classic.
The German squad announced in a social media post that Hardwick is the first confirmed driver for its Le Mans program, which is expected to include entries in both the GTE-Am and Hypercar classes with Porsche machinery.
Hardwick, who won IMSA’s Bob Akin Award that included an auto invite to Le Mans, will compete in GTE-Am with yet-to-be-named co-drivers.
He sampled a Proton-run Porsche for the first time last month following the European Le Mans Series season finale in Portimao while also got a taste of an Aston Martin Vantage GTE during the FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test in Bahrain.
Hardwick told Sportscar365 at that time that he was evaluating multiple options for the race and had received an invite to also test a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, although that test is believed to to not have materialized.
The 2022 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class runner-up is set to return for a full season campaign in 2023 with Wright Motorsports in one of its new Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.