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Proton Plotting Dual Series Porsche 963 Effort

German squad awaiting delivery dates for earmarked customer Porsche 963s…

Photo: Porsche

Proton Competition is planning a dual FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program with the new Porsche 963 next year according to team owner Christian Ried, who said he currently has multiple scenarios at play.

The longtime Porsche customer squad, which won this year’s European Le Mans Series GTE title and fields two full-season Porsche 911 RSR-19s in the WEC’s GTE-Am class, is awaiting further confirmation from Porsche regarding the delivery dates.

Proton, which first told Autosport in September of its LMDh plans, is expected to join JOTA (WEC) and JDC-Miller Motorsports (IMSA) on the grid with customer Porsche 963s next year although Ried admitted that he hasn’t been given a definitive timeline for his two earmarked cars.

“The sooner, the better but it’s out of our control so you have to accept it, whatever it is, in trying to make the best out of it,” Ried told Sportscar365.

“It really depends on the driver lineups, including sponsors and partners. For this we need to know if we can run Sebring or Portimao or Long Beach or whatever.

“We have different plans and ideas for all of the scenarios.

“In the end we would like to really go for the [WEC] championship, which was the initial plan, but we would have to start at Sebring.”

Ried said his team has already ruled out having a LMDh car in time for the WeatherTech Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, with its focus instead set to be on WeatherTech Racing’s GTD effort in the Florida endurance classic.

Fellow Porsche 963 customer JDC-Miller, meanwhile, is understood to be exploring a LMP2 entry for Daytona to keep its team active and on the grid in the series.

Porsche LMDh factory director Urs Kuratle previously told Sportscar365 that a Daytona debut for its customers would be a tall order given industry-wide supply chain challenges.

“It’s changing each week,” Ried said. “[Porsche] did some testing with the LMDh in the last few weeks in the U.S. One test was nice and was really looking nice. But it’s really depending [on multiple factors].

“We’ve been getting feedback from the factory on how it’s going. We’ll see.”

Tincknell, Bruni Among Drivers on “Standby”

Harry Tincknell and Gianmaria Bruni are among drivers that are in the frame for race seats according to Ried, who said both are on “standby” for whenever the team is able to make its top-class debut.

Ried has partnered with Tincknell and fellow Multimatic-contracted driver Seb Priaulx in the WEC this year, while having won the ELMS GTE title with Porsche factory driver Bruni, who is not part of the factory 963 driver lineups.

“There’s nothing confirmed,” Ried said. “With Seb and Harry, it’s really quite fun for me as a driver. They are both great guys and fast guys.

“In the end, if you’re going for results, we’re looking for the fastest drivers in the world.

“Harry has a lot of experience in prototypes. He could be one of them. It’s like Gimmi, who I drove with in ELMS. They are top level of drivers.

“We have some good guys on standby.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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