Imola – Proton Competition starts with two Porsche 911 RSR on May 15 in Imola in the second race of the season of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). After the start of the season in Silverstone with ups and downs, the team comes with high expectations to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the race track with a rich tradition in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna. For Proton Competition, it’s the last race before the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Proton Competition: The team has new drivers aboard for the race in Imola. In the Porsche 911 RSR with starting number 77, Robert Renauer (Jedenhofen) is the new teammate of Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Nürtingen) and Mike Hedlund (USA). An old acquaintance of Proton Competition is the Austrian Klaus Bachler, who supports Christian Ried (Schönebürg) and Gianluca Roda (Italy) in the 911 RSR with starting number 88 in Imola for the first time in this season.
Comments about the race
Wolf Henzler (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “It has been a while since I last raced in Imola. It was in 2004 in the Porsche Supercup, when I won, and several years later in the Le Mans Series. I remember the circuit as very demanding and rich in variety. I especially liked the chicane Variante Alta. There, you could terrifically drive over the kerbs, make up several tenths of a second or – if you were a bit too optimistic – lose a lot of time as well. With Robert Renauer, we have an experienced new teammate aboard.”
Robert Renauer (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “I’m looking forward to being able to drive with such an experienced team as Proton Competition in the ELMS. In the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, I raced with the 911 GT3 Cup, in the ADAC GT Masters, I drive the 911 GT3 R in this season. Now I’m eager to see how the 911 RSR feels on such a great circuit as Imola.”
Christian Ried (Porsche 911 RSR #88): “One week after Spa, where we did quite well in the WEC, another race track with a long tradition awaits us in Imola. We are very ambitious for this race. After the somewhat unfortunate season kick-off in Silverstone, we hope that we will be more successful there with the 911 RSR and achieve a good result. Our goal is a place on the podium.”
Klaus Bachler (Porsche 911 RSR #88): “It’s great to be back in the team in the ELMS as well. I’m looking forward to Imola and will give my best to justify the trust placed in me.”
The race circuit
The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari is situated close to Bologna. On the 4.909 kilometers long race track, which was built under the legendary Enzo Ferrari at the beginning of the 1950s as “small Nürburgring”, the Grand Prix of San Marino was held until 2006. Record winner with seven successes is Michael Schumacher, who also holds the lap record. The track is especially known because of legendary corners such as Tamburello, Rivazza and Aque Minerale.
Proton Competition is going to start in the ELMS with the Porsche 911 RSR with 470 PS, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. The winning car of classic endurance races in Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring is the fastest 911 of all times and is characterized by consistent lightweight construction and sophisticated aerodynamics. For the season 2016, it was reengineered concerning various details, especially aerodynamics.
In the European Le Mans Series, the classes LMP2, LMP3 and GTE are at the start. They all drive together in a four hours race, but are rated separately. Proton Competition starts in the GTE class with the 911 RSR.