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Bruni, Tincknell join Proton's IMSA GTP attack with Porsche LMDh

Gianmaria Bruni and Harry Tincknell will drive for the Proton Porsche LMDh squad in the IMSA SportsCar Championship alongside their campaign with the German team in the World Endurance Championship. 

Matt Campbell, Porsche 963 LMDh customer

Former WEC GTE Pro sparring partners Bruni and Tincknell will give Proton Competition's US-based Porsche 963 its debut at Road America on 6 August just four weeks after they drive the sister car in the WEC’s Hypercar class for the first time at Monza at the beginning of July 

Proton boss Christian Ried told Motorsport.com that it made sense to have the same drivers for the team’s two LMDhs as a result of its late start to its twin programmes in the WEC’s Hypercar class and GTP in IMSA. 

Supply-chain issues resulted in the delay of delivery of the first customer 963s until the end of April, though the Jota and JDC-Miller MotorSports team are already racing their cars in WEC and IMSA respectively.  

“This is a learning season with us with the LMDh, so it will be good to have the same drivers racing our cars in both series,” explained Ried. 

Pole sitter GTE Pro: #91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 GTE-PRO: Gianmaria Bruni

Pole sitter GTE Pro: #91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 GTE-PRO: Gianmaria Bruni

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Tincknell, a six-time IMSA race winner with Mazda in the Daytona Prototype international era, said: “It’s great to double up in the two series because we are in catch-up mode. 

“We’re doing the last three races in WEC and IMSA, so we’ll kind of have a full season behind us going into next year.”

Tincknell, who was confirmed in Proton’s Hypercar entry late last month, added that he was looking forward to racing in IMSA again after four season with Mazda in 2018-21.

“I love racing in IMSA and one of my best memories in motorsport is winning Petit in 2020 with Mazda, while I’m looking forwards to Indianapolis because it will be a new track for me,” he said. 

#77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19 of Harry Tincknell

#77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19 of Harry Tincknell

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Bruni and Tincknell will drive as a duo at Road America and then Indianapolis in September before they are joined by a yet-to-be-named third driver for the 10-hour Petit Le Mans enduro at Road Atlanta in October. 

Proton has only named two drivers for the Monza 6 Hours on 9 July so far, but Ried explained that he is still working towards a three-driver line-up. 

He revealed that berth could be filled as early as this week.  

Ried's son to make Le Mans debut

Ried handed his son, Jonas, a last-minute Le Mans 24 Hours debut last week alongside Tincknell and Don Yount in Proton’s #88 Porsche 911 RSR GTE Am entry.  

The 18-year-old, who is racing a Proton-run ORECA-Gibson 07 in the European Le Mans Series this year, was brought into the line-up after Brendan Iribe opted against contesting the race this year with regular co-driver Ollie Millroy. 

Ried had only tested the 911 RSR once before last weekend’s official Le Mans Test Day, which came when he was 15 and racing in the Italian Formula 4 Championship. 

“It’s not ideal for Jonas to come and do Le Mans without any proper testing, but it will be good experience for him and I’ve told him just to enjoy it,” said Christian Ried.

Jonas Ried is the third generation of his family to drive for the team started by his grandfather Gerold.

The #88 Proton GTE Am entry will disappear from the WEC after Le Mans and effectively be taken over by the #99 LMDh in Hypercar.

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