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Camathias to Make Racing Return in 24H Barcelona

Joel Camathias back in action after being released from Proton’s ELMS lineup…

Photo: MPS Agency

Joel Camathias is set to make his first race appearance since being dropped from Proton Competition’s European Le Mans Series driver lineup earlier this year.

The Swiss driver was released from Proton’s No.77 ELMS crew after crashing one of its new Porsche 911 RSRs in pre-season testing at Paul Ricard but will be back behind the wheel of a Mercedes AMG GT3 at this weekend’s 24 Hours of Barcelona.

Camathias will share the Swiss Team-entered car with Christoph Lenz, Roberto Pampanini and his ex-Italian GT team-mate Mauro Calamia in the A6 Am class of the 24H Series round.

The former GT Open and Le Mans Series champion has yet to race the Mercedes GT3 but recently completed a test at Franciacorta in northern Italy.

“It’s very nice to be back to real racing and I am really happy,” said Camathias.

“The recent months have been a little bit weird – I missed the adrenaline of racing – but used the time to train physically and look at other opportunities.

“I received some offers but did not want to jump on programs that were already started.

“This call is rather a one-off and I am happy to come back with Swiss Team, which is based very close to my home-town, Lugano.”

Camathias added that he is well-prepared for his first 24-hour race appearance in two years – the last time being at Le Mans with a KCMG Porsche 911 RSR in 2016.

“I go to Barcelona determined to do well but with no clear expectations as the series is new to me, although I know it has reached a very high level and very large grids,” he said.

“A 24-hours is always full of variables, but I am certainly ready for that and excited at this experience, which may lead to others.”

A total of 51 cars, including 13 GT3s, are entered for the 24 Hours of Barcelona on September 8-9.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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