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Project 1 Borrows GR Racing’s Porsche After Prologue Crash

GR Racing lends Porsche chassis to Project 1 after No. 56 car’s accident in Prologue…

Photo: MPS Agency

Team Project 1 has brought in a replacement Porsche chassis loaned from GR Racing for the 1000 Miles of Sebring after the original was damaged in a crash during last weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test.

The German team’s original No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR-19 incurred chassis damage when Brendan Iribe went off and hit the wall at Turn 1 after contact with an LMP2 car.

When it became clear that the car would not be safe to contest Friday’s WEC season-opener, Project 1 put in a request to GR which is not competing at Sebring this weekend.

However, the car was readily available because GR Racing sent its Porsche in the WEC’s freight shipment before withdrawing from the race due to team owner Mike Wainwright’s business commitments in Europe.

“We have a new chassis and we’re just building it up now, checking the final parts,” Project 1 team principal Axel Funke told Sportscar365.

“We are pushing it to scrutineering and will start the weekend.

“Michael Wainwright was very kind. We were requesting but it’s a family with Porsche, so we help each other as much as we can.

“This is where we got the car and everyone was really happy to be able to start the first race of the year.”

The No. 56 Project 1 crew involves a mixture of staff from the entrant and from Optimum Motorsport, which runs Iribe’s globally active Inception Racing program.

Inception Racing is a new customer for Project 1 this year after former No. 56 driver Egidio Perfetti elected not to return to the WEC’s GTE-Am class in 2022.

The team has two new lineups with Niki Leutwiler, Mikkel Pedersen and Matteo Cairoli joining the No. 46 Porsche entry which had several different drivers last season.

“We run the car as the mechanics, so we guide the car through the weekend,” said Funke.

“Shaun Goff from Optimum wanted his engineer and crew on the car, so it’s a team effort in a team effort.

“In March, just after Asian Le Mans, we did a two-day test at Valencia with Brendon, Ollie and Ben on the RSR 2017. It was the old Wynn’s car [driven by Ben Keating].

“We had the track almost to ourselves; there were two other cars. For them it was the first time driving the GTE [Porsche] although they did GTE before in a Ferrari.

“We had a team test and tried a few things. They were happy with the car. We had to do something in advance of Sebring.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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