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Just One Le Mans Seat Now Open At Proton

Reserve car still in play

Proton Competition Team Principal Christian Ried has confirmed to DSC all bar one of its nine-driver 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours effort for the team’s three-car 2015-spec Porsche 911 RSR GTE Am entry are confirmed.

The #88 Proton Competition entry sees Wolf Henzler step back. Instead the team will field Nick Yelloly and Stephane Lemeret, with a third driver still to be confirmed.

GP3 race winner Yelloly raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany last season and was an initial pick for Jota Sport in the ELMS in 2015 before commercial issues intervened. This will be his Le Mans 24 Hours debut.

Stephane Lemeret too will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut. A GT racing veteran, Lemeret is reigning TCR BeneLux Champion and was a race winner in the last Asian Le Mans Series season too.

The #93 Proton Competition Porsche sees Porsche factory driver Pat Long return for his 14th consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours start, a record that has included two class wins and a further three podium finishes, including a pair in the past two years.

He’ll be joined by Abdulaziz Al Faisal, the Saudi driver returning for a sixth shot at the race, his first back in 2011 was with the Proton team and since then he has returned with Prospeed once and three times with JMW Motorsport.

Mike Hedlund completes the lineup after a full-season in the ELMS with the team in 2016 and a start at last year’s inaugural Road to Le Mans. The American racer has a long history in national GT racing – and is currently racing with K-PAX Racing in Pirelli World Challenge – but this will be his Le Mans 24 Hours debut.

The full-season #77 Dempsey Proton Racing FIA WEC lineup remains intact, Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Marvin Dienst confirmed. Cairoli and Dienst will make their Le Mans debuts, Ried will have his eighth start, seven of them consecutive.

One final snippet of news from Proton. Whilst Egidio Perfetti confirmed to DSC last weekend at Spa that he would not be hanging on in there in the hope of the sole remaining reserve entry finding a grid slot for Le Mans, Christian Ried was keen to stress that the entry is under license from Proton Competition and is still, at this point, very much in play.

Whilst unlikely now to find an opportunity to join the grid the team do have the car ready to go, and drivers waiting for a call!