What a season finale in the USA: Proton Competition takes home the team’s first prototype trophy from Petit Le Mans after crossing the finish line in third place in their new Porsche 963 at the legendary Road Atlanta.
The ten-hour race on the traditional course in the US state of Georgia was not for the faint of heart. A total of 13 safety car phases, with the last two waving in the final quarter of an hour, ensured tension and drama until the finish.
Neel Jani (Switzerland) , Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Harry Tincknell (Great Britain) showed their best race of the season and came third after 397 laps on the difficult track. Thanks to a fuel saving strategy under green conditions, the team was able to stay out while the leaders dived into the pits for refueling during the late safety car. Their goal for the weekend was realized – to finish ahead of all other Porsche 963s, including the factory cars from Weissach.
After Road America and Indianapolis, it was only the team’s third USA race with the 700 hp hybrid prototype.
Voices after the race:
Michael Ried, team owner and technical director Proton Competition: “It was an exciting, incredibly intense race. The first podium for our Porsche 963 against this overwhelming competition successfully rounds off a great USA season for us.”
Christian Ried, team owner Proton Competition: “To end a tough season so successfully at Road Atlanta is fantastic. It wasn’t always easy, but as a team we never lost sight of our goals despite a few setbacks and always believed in ourselves even in difficult phases. I would like to thank everyone for their tireless commitment. I would also like to thank our partners for their great support and good collaboration. This year has shown what is possible with courage and team spirit. “
Harry Tincknell (Porsche 963 #59): “Crossing the finish line in third place in our Porsche 963 was an incredible feeling. I’m so happy for my colleagues and the entire team that we were able to reward ourselves for our hard work with this first podium. It’s unbelievable what everyone has invested in the last few weeks and months for our shared success.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 963 #59): “It was a great day for our team. The Proton team has worked incredibly hard for months. The morning before the race we sat down at a table together and said that we wanted to make as few mistakes as possible and stay out of everything. That way we would automatically move forward. That’s exactly what happened. I’m glad
Neel Jani (Porsche 963 #59): “It was a crazy race. I am really happy for the team. Chris and Michael have put so much into this program. Finishing as the best Porsche and taking home the trophy is a really nice reward for all the hard work.”
Proton Competition’s next and final race of the season will be FIA WEC’s 8 Hours of Bahrain on 4 November.