Perhaps the opening race of the 2018 WEC season at Spa did not end quite the way the Project 1 team had hoped, but they came away from the Belgian race having learnt a ship load of lessons. Success in motor racing does not come easily, it is earned through sweat, tears, disappointment…and then comes success and recognition. This is what you need to know about Team Project 1 ahead of the biggest race of the season, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Team Project 1 may be new to the WEC series, but as a racing team they have been around for a quarter of a century. It is in the Carrera Cup Deutschland and the Porsche Supercup, that the team has earned its stripes as a serious GT contender.
On 28 March 2018, Team Project 1 unveiled its official entry into this season’s WEC Super Season. Having competed in the Carrera Cup and Supercup for many years will have given the team invaluable experience in a highly competitive environment, but the magnitude of the step up from the two one-make series to the WEC, has not been lost on the team. The Spa race certainly showed the team just what was needed to compete on the international stage in endurance racing. This opening race was an exercise that tested the team’s experience and capabilities, and showed how important it is to have a cooperative, well-oiled system for dealing with every eventuality in long distance racing.
So, while Project 1 might be a new team on the block, they have some heavyweight experience to bring to the party and they will be a strong force in the GTE Am class at Le Mans and for the remainder of the 2018/2019 WEC Super Season. It is worth noting that the 911 RSR that the team will compete with in the 2018/2019 WEC is the mid-engined car that was introduced in 2017, while in the Carrera Cup and Supercup, the cars still run with the traditional rear-engined 911 layout.
The Project 1 Team:
|Team founder||Hans-Bernd Kamps|
|Team location||Lohne, Lower Saxony, Germany|
|Team manager||Marcel Jürgens-Wichmann|
|WEC programme leader||Axel Funke|
|Team strap line||Be Cool, Be Fast, Be First|
Racing Career Highlights:
|2017||Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, P2 Driver, P1 Rookie, P1 Team|
|2016||Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, P2+P3 Rookie|
|2015||Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, P1 Driver, P1 Rookie, P1 Team|
|Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, P1 Driver, P1 Rookie|
|2014||Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, P1|
|Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup|
|2013||Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland|
|Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup|
In a mutually beneficial set-up, Park Place is a minor sponsor on the Project 1 car. This arrangement helps to affirm the connection of one of America’s premier Porsche dealerships with the factory in Germany. In addition, Park Place Motorsports and Project 1 share some resources such as the two drivers, Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey, as well as one of Project 1’s engineers who teams up with Park Place for the Daytona 24 Hours to gain valuable endurance racing experience. This arrangement has enabled the teams to share information which is not a problem as far as rivalry is concerned, as the two teams compete in different series.
Born in Leverkusen, Germany, Bergmeister is an avid snowboarder is particularly proud of his victories in the long-distance races: Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, Nürburgring, Petit Le Mans and Spa. He laid the foundation for his career in sports car racing in Porsche’s one-make race series, when in 2000, he won the Carrera Cup Deutschland. He went on to win the 2001 Porsche Supercup title thanks to seven wins and eight pole positions, earning him a seat in the Porsche works driver squad. In the USA, he won the popular ALMS a record-breaking five times and in 2006 he did this with a back-to-back victory in the Grand-Am Series, a feat that no other driver has managed so far. Bergmeister contests the GTE Pro class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Porsche 911 RSR run by the Porsche Motorsport team as well as the IMSA Sports Car Championship (GTD) for Park Place Motorsports. At the Nürburgring 24-hour race he drove a 911 GT3 R for the Manthey Racing team. He also contests the Japanese Super GT Series with the 911 GT3 R. Click here for a more comprehensive profile of Jörg Bergmeister.
Patrick Lindsey is from Bakersfield, California. In the beginning, Lindsey was largely self-taught as to his driving, but this home-grown desire for speed was soon to move up a notch when he acquired a Chev Camaro Z28 in 2001. This was followed by an Audi S4 Avant that same year, but it would only be five years later that Lindsey would win his first club racing championship. Between 2007-2009 Lindsey drove for Horton Autosport in a Mazda 6 Touring Car in the Pirelli World Challenge series. But it was only in 2010 that he got his first taste of a Porsche, when he drove a 911 GT3 for Porsche Motorsport North America. Since 2013 he has been competing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship for Park Place Motorsports in the GTD class behind the wheel of a 911 GT3 R together with team mate Jörg Bergmeister. Patrick Lindsey will compete in the FIA WEC Super Season and 24 Hours of Le Mans for this first time in 2018.
The 42-year old Norwegian has spent much of his racing career behind the wheel of a Porsche. He has competed in European racing since 2010, competing in the French Porsche Carrera Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup Suisse, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. Together with the Project 1 team, this is the Norwegian driver’s first taste of racing in the WEC series. Starting in the Porsche 911 RSR poses a new challenge for Perfetti, as he explains: “Long-distance racing has its own laws. We have to work hard to get to know the car and assert ourselves.” In addition to the WEC, Perfetti will continue to compete in various races of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup with Project 1.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale & John Mountney, and Project 1