Proton Competition has confirmed that they will take a step up the sportscar ladder.
The German outfit has bought a total of four brand new Porsche 963 LMDh cars, with the plan of running a single entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and a single car in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023.
The team is not ready to announce any drivers yet, nor if they are going to do the full season, or if they start at a later stage. There is a doubt if Porsche will be able to deliver the new cars to privateers from the start of the season, which is JDC-Miller Motorsports in the IMSA series, and Hertz Team JOTA in the FIA WEC. A potential roadblock would be the Hybrid part of the car, which is common across all the brands – which consists of Cadillac, Acura, BMW and Porsche with two works cars each.
Proton Competition has been the probably closest privateer to Porsche through many years, and they actually ran their GTE Pro team in the FIA WEC in 2016, where the Manthey outfit was busy developing a new car for the 2017 season. They have been very active in GTE Am, running cars under their own name, plus helping other teams as well, such as Absolute Racing and WeatherTech Racing, in the European Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
There is a collaboration with Patrick Dempsey too, who started out running for the team as an active driver, before he continued to have his name on the cars, which is known as Dempsey-Proton Racing.
The team is adamant, that the LMDh participation doesn’t mean goodbye for the GTE cars – the talk is actually, that they are going to be even more active, regarding the number of cars, compared to previous seasons – but the team is not willing to confirm that just yet.