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Proton “Absolutely” Aiming For Two-Car Porsche Effort

Christian Ried outlines benefits of running two full-season Porsche 963s…

Photo: Javier Jimenez/DPPI

Christian Ried has expressed a desire for Proton Competition to expand to a two-car Porsche LMDh effort next year, saying it is “absolutely” the team’s wish to run a pair of cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship or IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The German squad is currently active in both the WEC’s Hypercar category and the WeatherTech Championship’s GTP class with a one-car effort on both sides of the Atlantic.

It notably secured the first podium finish for a privateer team in GTP in last year’s Motul Petit Le Mans, while it contested last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with Neel Jani, Julien Andlauer and Harry Tincknell as part of its driver lineup.

While fellow privateer Porsche squad Hertz Team JOTA expanded to a two-car effort with a pair of Porsche 963s this season, Proton has remained at a single-car operation with a best finish of fifth at Spa.

When asked by Sportscar365, Ried declared that there is “absolutely” a wish to move to two cars next year, pointing to operational benefits as a key reason why.

“If you have two cars, you already can see in karting, teams with more cars are always better than a one-man show,” Ried said.

“It’s just a fact, you have more information, more data, you learn faster. Especially at Le Mans. Everything can happen and it [might] not be your fault or the fault of the drivers or the team.

“They’re just unlucky and one guy’s out and it’s done. It’s always good to have a backup.”

Ried noted that Proton has yet to draw up concrete plans for its 2025 efforts, preferring to wait until after the French endurance classic to begin mapping out an effort for next year.

“Le Mans is the highlight and you really want to do well in Le Mans, so you have to be focused on Le Mans one hundred percent,” he said. “We’ll start with some ideas for next year after Le Mans and for sure there are options.

“Running two cars in WEC, running two cars in IMSA, running one and one or maybe we get one more from Porsche. We have to see.

“It’s really hard because both series are super great. Great fun to race. It’s just a different kind of concept.

“You have the WEC with the highlight in Le Mans and you have the IMSA with the great races. There’s always great racing at the end, last 15, 20 minutes. It’s always a big show with some drama and it’s good.

“I have to say, it’s a different way of how they approach, but I love both.”

Should Proton choose to commit to an expansion of its WEC program to two Hypercars, it could produce an entry dilemma in the expected 22-car full season category.

The arrival of Aston Martin into the class, plus the newly confirmed two-car mandate for Hypercar manufacturers, means that just two entries would remain available for non-works squads.

AF Corse, meanwhile, has signaled intentions of also continuing with a third, satellite Ferrari 499P, which would also be vying for a slot.

JOTA, however, is widely expected to be taking over the factory Cadillac LMDh operation from Chip Ganassi Racing next year and expand that to two cars.

When asked if Proton would be open to acquiring any of the 963s that JOTA currently operates, Ried declined to go into specifics.

“I don’t think the amount of available chassis is the limiting factor,” he said.

“I’m sure if Porsche wants to do it, they can also make some new cars. I’m pretty sure.

“I know that there are enough monocoques to make cars, so it should be not the limiting factor.

“But also, I don’t know what will happen with the JOTA cars. Maybe we have to speak to them and see if there’s an option, but as I said, we will start after Le Mans.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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