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Le Mans winner Dumas joins Proton Porsche for Daytona return

Romain Dumas will return to the Daytona 24 Hours for the first time since 2019 when he drives Proton Competition’s Porsche 963 later this month.

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 of Romain Dumas

Dumas will share the team’s sole GTP entry with Neel Jani, Gianmaria Burni and Alessio Picariello in the blue-riband round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship on 27-28 January.

Jani and Bruni were already revealed to be driving the Proton Porsche on the publication of the entry list in November, while Picariello is another new addition to the team’s line-up.

The announcement reunites Dumas with Porsche, with the 46-year-old having scored the second of his two Le Mans 24 Hours victories with the Stuttgart-based marque in 2016.

It also marks his return to the Florida classic after a hiatus of four years, with his last competitive outing in 2019 in a CORE autosport Nissan DPi with Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Loic Duval yielding a fourth-place finish.

Dumas is currently competing in the Dakar Rally in a Toyota Hilux entered by Rebellion Racing, and was provisionally classified 32nd at the end of the fourth stage on Tuesday.

Picariello, meanwhile, makes the step to top-level prototype machinery after winning the GTE class title in the European Le Mans Series with Proton last year.

This would be his second outing in the Daytona enduro after his 2022 bow at the wheel of WeatherTech Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GTD class.

Proton Competition Porsche 963

Photo by: Proton Motorsport

Proton Competition Porsche 963

Proton reveals Mustang GTD line-up

In addition to its GTP entry, Proton will also be present in the GTD division with a single example of the new Ford Mustang GT3.

Ryan Hardwick, who was part of Proton’s title-winning GTE line-up in ELMS, new factory signing Dennis Olsen, Italian racer Giammarco Levorato and ex-Paul Miller Racing driver Corey Lewis were revealed as the team’s four drivers.

Proton also announced that the #55 Ford will now take part in the full IMSA season with Levorato and Lewis, having originally planned on contesting just the Daytona opener. Hardwick will join the team for the remaining four enduros in the Michelin Endurance Cup.

“In order to be successful at Daytona, you need a perfectly prepared car, fast drivers and a strong team,” said team owner Christian Ried.

“Together with our partners, we’ve worked hard to create the best possible conditions for a successful start to the new motorsport year.”

Proton Competition won last year’s Daytona 24 Hours in the LMP2 class with an ORECA-Gibson 07 driven by Bruni, James Allen, Francesco Pizzi and Fred Poordad, but it won’t be present in the secondary prototype division this year.

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