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Proton Confirms Driver Lineup, Two New Porsche 911 RSRs

Proton Competition signs Khaled Al Qubaisi, Klaus Bachler for FIA WEC…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Proton Competition announced Wednesday its driver lineup for the only customer Porsche 911 RSR in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship, while also confirming a second 997-based GTE entry for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The German squad will see two newcomers to the FIA WEC in Khaled Al Qubaisi and Klaus Bachler, who join team principal Christian Ried at the wheel of No. 88 entry in GTE-Am.

Both drivers fill the seats vacated by Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda, who have moved to the AF Corse-run 8Star Motorsports Ferrari this year.

Porsche Junior driver Bachler drove for Proton in the European Le Mans Series last year, with the 22-year-old Austrian set for his Le Mans debut, while two-time 24 Hours of Dubai winner Al Qubaisi will make his second start in the 24-hour French endurance classic after an outing with JMW Motorsport last year.

Al Qubaisi will become the first Emirati to compete in the FIA WEC. “I am proud and happy to be able to represent the United Arab Emirates in this major championship,” he said.

“I’m very happy that this project has come about and I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” Ried added. “Together with Khaled Al Qubaisi and Klaus Bachler and the new Porsche 911 RSR, I’m convinced that we will achieve good results.”

In addition to the season-long FIA WEC entry, Proton will again join forces with Dempsey Racing to field a second Porsche at Le Mans, with Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and a to-be-announced third driver. It will also be a 2013-spec Porsche 911 RSR.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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