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Proton to Assist Hardpoint’s 24H Le Mans GTE-Am Effort

Katherine Legge confirmed in Hardpoint lineup for its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Hardpoint will team up with Proton Competition for its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, with team regular Katherine Legge set to spearhead its lineup in the GTE-Am class.

The Virginia-based team — regulars in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition — will join forces with the decorated German squad according to team owner/driver Rob Ferriol, who received the auto-invite for winning the Bob Akin Award as top gentleman driver in the GTD class last year.

“We’re taking it step by step,” Ferriol told Sportscar365.

“The first step was to find the right team to partner with locally in Europe so that we can maximize our efficiencies there as well as benefit from the team’s experience there.

“We’ve opted to partner with Proton. They’ve got a great track record there and are very familiar with both sides of the pond. It’s a good relationship to build.

“We’ll bring some of our own crew over as I’ve said from the beginning. We’ll also bring Katherine over as the Gold. 

“Currently what we’re really focused on now that we’ve got the team part solidified and we have a direction there, the focus is on staying true to the thesis behind Hardpoint from the beginning in trying to show that sports car racing can be a really fertile ground for the right partners and the right activation partners.

“What we’re looking for at Le Mans is pulling together the right partners that would make the most sense for as well as filling that Silver seat, which ideally we’d identify a funded Silver that has a partner that would like to come along and benefit from the activation potential at Le Mans.”

Ferriol said it’s been a “sliding scale” in terms of finding the right Silver-rated driver to complete the lineup.

“I’ve always said that when you bring drivers in, they bring one of two things: They either bring pace or budget,” he explained.

“In a perfect world they bring both. But we don’t live in a perfect world, I do view that as a bit of a sliding scale where we want to find the right balance of pace and potential across the whole driver lineup but also to ensure we approach the program smartly.

“Part of that is feathering in the budget opportunities through partners.”

While no races in Europe are currently planned in the build-up to the French endurance classic, Ferriol said they have a test scheduled prior to the Le Mans Test Day on June 5.

“Admittedly I have to remind myself of just how unique an opportunity it is,” Ferriol said on making his Le Mans debut. “It’s easy to get lost in the work of it all from a team perspective.

“Every now and then I just have to stop and step back and take a look that this tremendous opportunity that not a lot of people get.

“It’s certainly not an opportunity I thought I’d be having this soon in my career.”

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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