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Team Project 1 Orders Two New Porsche 911 RSR-19 Cars

Reigning GTE-Am champions confirm purchase of two new Porsches for 2020-21 season…

Photo: Porsche

Reigning FIA World Endurance GTE-Am champion Team Project 1 has placed orders for two units of the new Porsche 911 RSR-19 car ahead of the 2020-21 season.

The latest generation of Porsche GTE racer will become eligible for the WEC’s GTE-Am category at the start of the car’s second season, which begins in September.

Porsche’s GTE-Pro factory team is currently running the car in the 2019-20 season, with the car having made its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut in last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

It comes ahead of a full customer rollout beginning later this summer.

Project 1 team principal Axel Funke told Sportscar365 that the German squad plans to return to the WEC’s GTE-Am ranks for a third season, most likely with two entries.

“The cars are ordered, and they are on hold,” he said. “Porsche will not release a car until the end of May because they want to implement all updates before they give it to the customers.

“There’s a school on the car for several days. The cars are shaken down by Porsche in Weissach and then we enter the first test with Gulf Racing; a two-day test between Le Mans and Silverstone.

“We went up to two cars [for 2019-20] which made sense. We’ve learned how to work them and are doing a good job. Everyone’s happy and the team is working together well.

“It doesn’t make sense to go back to one car, really.”

Porsche factory motorsport director Pascal Zurlinden revealed back in July that Porsche is selling an initial batch of ten 911 RSR-19s to customer teams.

The car will be eligible to compete in the WEC and the European Le Mans Series in privateer hands.

Third Le Mans Entry Possible for This Year

Funke also confirmed that Project 1 has submitted a third entry request with a current-gen Porsche 911 RSR for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in addition to its two full-season WEC cars.

While gaining an auto entry for winning last year’s edition of the French enduro in GTE-Am, its understood the team has to go through the entry selection process as it has not entered another ACO series full-time with that specific entry.

Project 1 only completed a partial season in the ELMS last year and did not file for a 2020 full-season ELMS entry due to not being able to strike a deal with a paying driver.

Former Porsche factory star Joerg Bergmeister, who was a member of Project 1’s WEC title-winning lineup last season, would be an option for the additional Le Mans car if the entry is granted.

“We placed an entry as a single guest entry. Now it’s down to the selection committee if they give us permission or not,” said Funke.

“The entry list will be released at the end of February [on Friday] and this is the situation at the moment.

“When Joerg retired last year, I spoke to him already and the message I got is that he’d love to do Le Mans with us again. This would be a reasonable option.

“He’s won it with us, he’s done Le Mans several times and in the end, it’s not about having the quickest [driver] but the smartest one to bring the car home.”

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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