Winds of change blow for Proton in GTE-Am

The German squad Proton Competition was already confirmed to be the one taking the responsibility to run the Porsche 911 RSR with a single entry in the GTE-Pro class while the factory team stays out to develop the new LMGTE machine to fight against the new batch of cars to debut next season. But, it was also confirmed that one of the GTE-Am entries that ran this year will be back, although with a different lineup.

The Abu Dhabi-Proton team will still feature Khaled Al Qubaisi, but the other two drivers in the car will be the Porsche ace Patrick Long and the Danish driver/programmer David Heinemeier-Hansson.

Long, an expert when it comes to Porsche GT racing, is the Professional side of the team, leaving the Dempsey-Proton squad where he drove with the driver/actor Patrick Dempsey and Marco Seefried. As the Dempsey-Proton car will go to the GTE-Pro effort, Long was left without a drive. Long will share his FIA World Endurance Championship drive time with his Pirelli World Challenge duties in the Porsche 911 GT3-R of EFFORT Racing. A title grabber in American Le Mans Series and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, his know-how and ability will be more than needed.

Heinemeier-Hanson in the other way is doing a comeback to GT racing after spending a whole year in the LMP2 class with Tequila PatrĂ³n ESM and their Ligier JS P2. Before his adventure with ESM, DHH became a GTE-Am Champion and a 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner with Aston Martin Racing in the Young Driver-ran “Dane Train” Vantage V8, alongside Kristian Poulsen with a huge help of Nicki Thiim, scoring four wins out of eight races, while the other four were finished in second place. To add to his racing history, DHH started in sportscars with Porsche, starting with Caymans and then going to GT3 Cup cars before joining the prototype ranks.

Their mission next year is to beat the GTE-Am champions of the Russian SMP Racing team, which isn’t confirmed if will return to GTE-Am, step up to GTE-Pro or leave to the European Le Mans Series.

PHOTOS - Abu Dhabi Racing, Aston Martin Racing, FIA WEC