Project 1 may be a new team on the block in WEC, but this year, the team celebrates its 25th anniversary in motorsport. This season is certainly its biggest commitment to date as 2018 will see the team from Lohne, Germany, participating in the Carrera Cup Deutschland, the Mobil 1 Supercup, as well as the WEC for the full 2018/2019 Super Season.
“This season will be a special one for the whole team, and our commitments in three parallel championships emphasise the historic programme ahead of us,” said Hans-Bernd Kamps, the team founder, during the formal presentation. “I’m very happy to be able to celebrate this milestone and our jubilee together with our partners and friends and of course with our team. An exciting year is coming up and I can hardly wait to start the WEC and the Porsche one-make trophies,” he continued.
Axel Funke and Francis Schammo will take the lead in the involvement in the WEC programme, while Marcel Jürgens-Wichmann will act as team manager in the one-make trophies. “Working on such an extensive programme means sharing responsibility. With Axel, Francis and Marcel, we’ve got three experts, who are specialists in their particular fields. Francis has already worked in the WEC and in the Le Mans 24 Hours and can therefore offer optimal support. Together with the experienced crew of mechanics supporting our leading engineer Richard Selwin, we’ve got a professional team we can rely on,” Kamps added.
The FIA WEC is one of the world’s most popular race series and a total of eight rounds will take place in North America, Asia and Europe, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Project 1 is entered in the GTE-Am class, and will enjoy close support from Porsche.
With the Porsche 911 RSR, Project 1 faces a new high-level challenge. The RSR spearheads the in-house motorsport programme and this latest generation of the sports car was put through its paces in the FIA WEC and Le Mans during the 2017 season. In recognition of the company’s 25th anniversary, the Project 1 RSR has been given a special jubilee design.
Project 1’s WEC season is spearheaded by an experienced driver package. Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister has been playing an active part in motorsport since 1987 and knows the Porsche 911 RSR like the back of his hand. He has clinched numerous US podium finishes in the RSR and in previous years, the 42-year-old German was also successful in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Le Mans and the FIA WEC gave him the opportunity to collect valuable endurance experience from which the Project 1 team can ultimately benefit.
Second driver in the alliance is Patrick Lindsey from California. Together with Park Place Motorsports, he has been competing since 2013 in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and has also proved himself an expert in handling Porsches. In addition to the 911 GT3 Cup and the 911 GT America, he was most recently on the road in a 911 GT3 R and got to know team mate Jörg Bergmeister very well during this period.
Egidio Perfetti completes the strong trio. He too is a Porsche specialist and has been active in European racing since 2010. The Norwegian’s numerous starts in the French Porsche Carrera Cup have given him immense experience, but he was also successful in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.
On 28 March 2018, Project 1 unveiled its official entry into this season’s WEC Super Season. The step up from national to international competition on the world championship stage is a big one, and this will, unquestionably, try every bit of resolve the team has built up over the preceding years. Having said that, the team does have a lot of experience to draw on, and this will give them an excellent chance of success. Added to this is the fact that they have a vastly experienced team of drivers headed by Jörg Bergmeister, who in the opinion of this writer, is one of the best 911 drivers out there with more than three decades in competition at the highest level behind him. So, while Project 1 might be a new team on the block, they have some heavyweight experience to bring to the part and will offer significant competition right from the first round of the WEC.
The 2018/2019 WEC Super Season will be an interesting series right from the off, and with an enlarged GTE Am class, competition in this sector will be especially intense. This of course will provide an added spectacle for the paying public, for whom close motor racing is the big draw.
This weekend sees all the teams in action at the WEC Prologue at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France. The will be the final time the teams can put their cars and teams to the test in a semi-competitive environment, with the first round of the WEC set for the first weekend of May, just four weeks away. With the opening round of the WEC then just around the corner, one can almost feel the tension in the air, and Porsche Road & Race will be there to bring you all the action.
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Project 1