Proton Competition Takes Positives with Them Despite Difficult Start to Season

Proton Competition started the new season of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC at the ten-hour race QATAR 1812 KM, which was held for the first time. The German squad competed in the top hypercard class with a Porsche 963 at the Losail International Circuit just outside the capital Doha.

In the Porsche 963 with starting number 99, Harry Tincknell (GBR), Neel Jani (SUI) and Julien Andlauer (FRA) drove a solid race in the emirate on the Persian Gulf against the strong competition from the factory teams and crossed the finish line in eleventh place after 333 laps, claiming third place accolades in the Hypercar class privateer podium.  Despite having had hopes for more, the team takes many positives with them as they prepare for round 2 of the FIA WEC season.

Voices after the race
Michael Ried, team owner and technical director Proton Competition: “It was a difficult start to the season for our team, but it also brought a lot of positive insights. We have shown that we have made progress in the last few weeks and months and have reduced our gap to the factory teams. That was our goal and gives us confidence for Imola.”

Christian Ried, team owner Proton Competition: “This ten-hour race was a tough start to the season. An endurance race like this under such extreme conditions reveals every detail that isn’t really perfect. We have developed further as a team with the new car, no question about it, but there is still a lot to do to be able to really stand up to the factory teams. We managed to do that quite well in parts of Doha, but not over the entire distance. We will now work harder on this.”

Harry Tincknell (Porsche 963 #99): “I last drove the 963 in Bahrain. A lot of things were new and unfamiliar. We learned a lot during the week in Doha. There were some updates from Porsche to the car, which gave our team a lot of overtime. The boys and girls worked hard to give us a reliable car for the race. In some phases of the race we were really fast, in others we weren’t good enough. We still have to learn. Overall, it was a strong start to the season for us that we can build on.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 963 #99): “That was a tough weekend for us. Even during the prologue there were various things that weren’t perfect. But we have made good progress every day. What was ultimately missing was consistency. We still have to improve there. Nevertheless, we take many positive things home with us from Doha. We want more and know what we have to work on to achieve our goals.”

Julien Andlauer (Porsche 963 #99): “It was a long and productive week of learning for us. We tried to make the best of what we have. Our aim was to develop a good basis for our car, which is a difficult undertaking for a ten-hour race. During the race we got a little closer to the pace of the other Porsches, which was also our goal. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of work waiting for us, which we will tackle before Imola.”

Up Next
The next outing for Proton Competition in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC is the six-hour race in Imola/Italy on April 19th.


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