Picture © JEP/ ELMS
LM GTE - 12/05/2020 - Jeff CARTER
Proton Competition, also known as Team Felbermayr-Proton and, more recently, Dempsey-Proton Racing, was founded in 1996 by Gerold Ried. The team are based in Ummendorf, Baden-Württemberg in Germany and is closely linked with German manufacturer Porsche.
The early years saw the team compete in the BPR Global GT Series and the FIA GT Championship, as well as taking part in the Daytona 24 Hours. During these years it was a father/son partnership as Gerold was joined by son Christian.
In 2006 the team changed its name to Team Felbermayr-Proton after Horst Felbermayr Sr and Jr became part of the team.
In the European Le Mans Series the team has enjoyed a lot of success.
In 2009 and 2010, Team Felbermayr-Proton won the LMGT2 Championship with Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz. In 2010 the team, with Wolf Henzler joining Lietz and Lieb behind the wheel, won the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team had reverted back to its original Proton Competition name by the time they entered the relaunched European Le Mans Series in 2013. They finished second in the LMGTE category with Christian Ried, Nick Tandy taking two wins in the five-race season, the first with Gianluca Roda at Silverstone and Klaus Bachler at the Hungaroring.
In 2014, the team only entered for one race after concentrating their efforts on the FIA WEC.
In 2015, Proton Competition returned for a full season, taking one podium finish and one pole position to finish 6th in LMGTE.
The team returned to winning ways in 2016 with a win for the no77 Porsche at Imola, while the no88 car took a podium finish and two poles to finish the season 4th and 6th overall respectively.
In 2017, a single car was entered with Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli and Joel Camathias finishing the season 3rd overall, securing the win in the final race of the year at Portimão.
In 2018, Proton Competition entered two cars and secured their first ELMS title since 2010 with father/ son duo Gianluca and Giorgio Roda taking the championship.
For five of the six races they were joined by Porsche Junior Driver Matteo Cairoli and the trio took one win at the Red Bull Ring, two second and two third places. Cairoli had to miss his home race at Monza and was replaced by Gianmaria Bruni, meaning Cairoli missed out on the Drivers Championship title at the end of the season.
The no77 Porsche also had a successful 2018 season, with Christian Ried, Dennis Olsen and Marvin Dienst taking victory at Portimão to take third place in the championship standings.
In 2019, the team once again entered two cars, with the no77 Porsche entered under the Dempsey-Proton Racing banner, and the no88 car under Proton Competition. The no77 car driven by Matteo Cairoli, Christian Ried and Riccardo Pera finished second in the championship. The trio had recorded one win at Monza, two further podiums at Spa and Paul Ricard and took four of the six pole positions.
The no88 Proton Competition Porsche was entered for two races in 2019, with Thomas Preining, Gianluca Giraldi and Riccardo Sanchez taking the win at Silverstone.
The German team have once again entered two cars in the 2020 European Le Mans Series, with the no77 Porsche 911 RSR running under the Dempsey-Proton Racing banner with Italian Michele Beretta as the lead driver, while the no88 Proton Competition Porsche will have former champion Richard Lietz behind the wheel.
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