Just after we returned from a weekend full of IMSA action at Petit Le Mans Road Atlanta, a race I visited rather than competed in, I got the call to substitute once again in European Le Mans Series. This time, LMP2 Pro-Am team Proton Competition found themselves without their lead driver and thanks to Prema Racing I was the one called up to race during the doubleheader at Portimão.

Proton Competition is a well-known name in GT racing, but expanded to prototypes just yet. They are running a Hypercar in WEC and one in IMSA, and compete in ELMS with an LMP2 car. That LMP2 car is driven by Jonas Ried, Giorgio Roda and Gianmaria Bruni, whereas the latter was unable to make the trip to Portugal due to injury. Therefore I was teamed up with Jonas and Giorgio, eager to make the most out of the two races I got to do with the #99 car.

Giorgio is a bronze driver and a hell of quick one. For the first race he qualified in fourth, and for the second one he even got pole position. Sadly there was no running for me in the first race, as Jonas was caught out in difficult circumstances and crashed before I even got the chance to hop in. No worries, Jonas is a young, teenage talent who has a bright future ahead.

During the second race, which we started in P1, our car got in trouble due to damage. Seventh was all we could manage in a challenging race. Anyhow racing with Proton Competition was a very good experience. I really liked Jonas and Giorgio for their personalities and had some good laughs with team boss Christian Ried. This environment really suited me and I feel happy to have been part of this team for a weekend.

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