While the Porsche GT Team ended their factory involvement after seven years in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Porsche 911 RSR will be back on track in the GTLM class for the 24 Hours of Daytona on 30/31 January.
FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series winners Proton Competition will pick up the baton for Porsche as they enter the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 on 22-24 January with Cooper MacNeil, Richard Lietz, Kevin Estre and Gianmaria Bruni.
“We’re very pleased that the Porsche 911 RSR will also be raced in the 2021 IMSA championship.” Pascal Zurlinden, Director, Porsche Factory Motorsport. “The customer team WeatherTech Racing has a wealth of experience and has already notched up many successes with Porsche and others.
“Welcome back to the Porsche family. We support the team with engineers and works drivers and we anticipate many highlights in the 2021 season. I’m thrilled that this program materialized at short notice.”
The agreement between Proton and WeatherTech will also see the team apply for an entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGTE-Pro Class.
Cooper MacNeil knows the quality of the team and drivers joining him having raced against them at Le Mans two times. “We have put a lot of thought into this move. I have raced against this level of competition at Le Mans twice, most recently this year, and have felt comfortable with the added performance of the car. We are going back to running a Porsche, and I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the 911 RSR.” explained MacNeil.
“It will be more pressure on me as a driver, but I am welcoming the added effort it is going to take to run GTLM in 2021. We raced with Christian at Le Mans in 2016, so we have an on-track history. I am looking forward to running the Rolex 24 with Richard, Kevin and Gianni. Proton has a great endurance racing history, and Porsche is always competitive at Daytona.”
Christian Ried, Owner, Proton Competition, added, “We have been looking at entering the IMSA WeatherTech Championship for a few years. We just didn’t feel like the time was right until now. With the factory effort leaving, that left a void for Porsche in GTLM.
“We were able to get together with David and Cooper [MacNeil] to keep the Porsche brand racing at the top level of GT competition in IMSA. I am looking forward to the challenge and am excited to add IMSA to our racing schedule in 2021.”