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Project 1 Set for Two-Car Porsche Program Next Season

Team Project 1 doubling its efforts with second Porsche 911 RSR for 2019-20…

Photo: MPS Agency

Team Project 1 is set to expand its presence in the FIA World Endurance Championship to a two-car entry next season, according to team manager Axel Funke.

The German squad, which currently leads the GTE-Am points standings, is plotting a return for its current driver lineup of Patrick Lindsey, Joerg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti.

It is also set to mobilize its second chassis, which currently features in the European Le Mans Series, for the 2019-20 WEC competition.

“We have placed an entry for a second car, so we want to continue and follow the family of WEC,” Funke told Sportscar365.

“We want to continue with the [current] lineup and, for the second car, we are in negotiations with several drivers.

“There will be a works driver from Porsche in the lineup, along with a gentleman driver, and it will be in the same category as we have had before.”

Funke attributed Project 1’s successful debut season to constant improvements from the team and reliable support from Porsche’s customer racing program.

Lindsey, Bergmeister and Perfetti claimed their first victory of the 2018-19 season at Fuji in October to move into the points lead, before adding further podiums at Shanghai and Sebring.

The trio finished fifth in last month’s Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps to carry a 23-point advantage heading into the season-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We were continuously becoming better and better, optimizing all areas,” said Funke.

“We were all working hard at any time, day or night. We pulled ourselves through Sebring, with a burnt car, and the whole team just never stopped working. There was hardly any rest, really. Even in the background, things kept going on.

“Porsche is a great brand, and they have done customer support for many years now, on lots of different levels. There was always support and help. We also had our pitfalls as a support team, and lessons we learnt together.”

Porsche factory GT director Pascal Zurlinden, meanwhile, described Project 1’s debut season as an endurance outfit as “really impressive”.

“They had a really huge ramp-up, coming in from Carrera Cup with a lot of experience: 25 years with Porsche,” Zurlinden told Sportscar365.

“Then they came into endurance racing and had some tough races at the beginning, but now they are leading the championship and it has been really impressive.

“We work really closely with all of our teams and we work together as a big family, so the Porsche works team shares with all the customer teams, and we have a group of engineers working closely with each of them.

“I think the success on the customer side comes from the teams and drivers, which are great, but also the support from the crew and the reliability of the car.”

The entry list for the 2019-20 WEC season, which begins at Silverstone in September, will be revealed during the annual ACO press conference on June 14.

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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