Proton Competition will start the second half of the European Le Mans Series season at the four-hour race in Barcelona on August 28th. On the Circuit de Catalunya, the successful team from Ummendorf in Swabia fielded two Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE class. With starting number 77, Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianmaria Bruni and Lorenzo Ferrari want to defend their lead in the championship. Proton Competition is also in the lead in the team classification after the first half of the season.
In addition, Proton Competition also looks after the 911 RSR from Absolute Racing with starting number 18 in Barcelona.
The penultimate race of the season is also scheduled for August 28 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the USA. Proton Competition fields a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GTD class for the US team WeatherTech Racing at the Virginia International Raceway.
The drivers: The 911 RSR with starting number 77 is shared in Barcelona by Christian Ried, Gianmaria Bruni and Lorenzo Ferrari. The drivers of starting number 93 are the German-Irish Hollywood star Michael Fassbender, Richard Lietz (Austria) and Zach Robichon (Canada). Andrew Hariyanto (Indonesia), Martin Rump (Estonia) and Alessio Picariello (Belgium) will compete with the number 18 car. Cooper MacNeil (USA) and Jules Gounon (France) share driving duties at the Virginia International Raceway in the USA in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 (start number 79).
Comments on the race in Barcelona
Michael Ried , team owner and technical director of Proton Competition: “With our victory in Monza we have taken the lead in the standings and secured ourselves a good starting position for the title fight. We want to build on this performance in Barcelona. The team used the break to recharge the batteries after the hustle and bustle of the first races and to prepare our cars as well as possible for the challenges of the second half of the season.”
Christian Ried (Porsche 911 RSR #77) : “Barcelona is a very demanding circuit. We proved that it suits us well with our second place last year. Now we want to start the second half of the season there successfully. After our recent win in Monza, our clear goal is to be among the frontrunners in Barcelona and to defend our lead in the standings with a top result.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “The seven-week break was pretty long. Especially after our win in Monza. Glad it’s going on now. I’m confident we can take the momentum from Monza to Barcelona. It will be important that we secure a good grid position in qualifying.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #93) : “With our third place in Le Castellet we started the new season successfully. We were able to show that we have the potential to be right at the front. Unfortunately things didn’t go so well for us in the following races. We want to change that in Barcelona.”
The 4.655-kilometre Circuit de Catalunya is located north of the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona in Montelmó. The Formula 1 track with its 16 corners was opened in 1991 and has also been the venue for the Spanish Grand Prix ever since. The very first IMSA GT race was held at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on the border with North Carolina in 1971. Due to the effects of the oil crisis, the circuit was closed in 1974 and only reopened in 2000 – as the first motorsport resort in the USA with hotels and restaurants and a wide range of leisure activities for racing fans and their families.
In the European Le Mans Series, Proton Competition starts with the Porsche 911 RSR. Depending on the size of the restrictor, its engine installed in front of the rear axle has an output of around 378 kW (515 hp). The large rear diffuser in combination with the suspended rear wing ensures aerodynamic efficiency and a high level of downforce. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 that Proton Competiton uses for WeatherTech Racing has a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 engine with an output of 550 hp.
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