Project 1 withdraws one car from Portimao WEC race

The Project 1 Porsche squad has withdrawn one of its two GTE Am entries from next month's second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at Portimao.

For a second race in a row, the #46 Porsche 911 RSR-19 shared by Dennis Olsen, Axcil Jefferies and Anders Buchardt is unable to take part, a legacy of Buchardt's crash in the Prologue test that preceded this month's opening round of the series at Spa.

Project 1 ended up withdrawing both its cars from the Belgian race as Egidio Perfetti suffered a major crash in qualifying in the sister #56 machine, leaving the time inadequate time for repairs.

However, Perfetti and teammates Matteo Cairoli and Riccardo Pera will race at Portimao, where there are currently slated to be 13 cars in the GTE Am class.

The withdrawal of the #46 Porsche is offset by an extra Ferrari 488 GTE entered by Kessel Racing.

Japanese gentleman racer and SUPER GT regular Takeshi Kimura will share the car with Peugeot signing Mikkel Jensen and Scott Andrews, who replaces the previously-listed Davide Fumanelli.

Beche in for absent Duval

Elsewhere, LMP2 squad RealTeam Racing has announced Mathias Beche as Loic Duval's replacement alongside Esteban Garcia and Norman Nato, with Duval unable to race in Portimao owing to a clash with his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship commitments.

It marks Beche's first WEC outing since he departed the Rebellion Racing LMP1 outfit in the middle of the 2018/19 superseason.

The Swiss driver was replaced by Nathanael Berthon for the final three races of the campaign, but was given a one-off reprieve to replace an absent Andre Lotterer in the 2019 1000 Miles of Sebring.

Beche also made three outings in SUPER GT last season, but was unable to secure a drive in the Japanese series for 2021.

ARC Bratislava has also finalised its line-up for Portimao by bringing back Tom Jackson to join regular drivers Miro Konopka and Oliver Webb.

Ex-ByKolles LMP1 driver Webb skipped the opening round at Spa due to a clash with his GT Cup commitments in the UK, and was replaced at the wheel of the Ligier JS P217 by Darren Burke.

A total of 32 cars are now set to participate in the eight-hour Portimao race on June 13.

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