Black Swan Racing announced that it will partner with Proton Competition for a Porsche GTE-Am entry at next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Black Swan owner/driver Tim Pappas will share the driving duties with veteran pro racers Patrick Long (a two-time winner at Le Mans) and Spencer Pumpelly.
“This has been a long sought-after opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of such a strong program,” said Pappas. “Putting together an all-American line-up isn’t just something I wanted to do from a pure PR standpoint, I’m fortunate to have two teammates that are some of the best in the business, which I wouldn’t compromise on. Spencer is one of the best sports car drivers in the U.S., and with his Le Mans experience he should slot in well, and of course Patrick Long’s reputation speaks for itself. Between the two of them, we should have a wealth of knowledge coming in, and with the support of Proton Competition we have an excellent program headed in to June. I’m really appreciative of not only everyone within the organization, but of course Porsche Motorsport as well.”
Long remains the lone American to be a contracted Porsche works driver, which he’s backed up with not only his Le Mans victories, but also three championships in the former American Le Mans Series, as well as two Pirelli World Challenge titles. Long last teamed with Black Swan Racing and Pappas in 2016, where the team came within seconds of victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“It’s an honor to return to Le Mans with this program,” stated Long. “Obviously the all-American line-up is something that should be pretty unique, but it’s also a line-up that should be very competitive. I’ve had a lot of experience with Proton Competition and know the quality of their program, so I have a lot of faith in the machinery, but Tim should be solid given his experience and Spencer Pumpelly is one of the best in the business. I’m thankful to everyone for putting this together, and excited for the month of June.”
Still searching for his first Le Mans victory, Pumpelly’s résumé includes two class wins at the Rolex 24, a championship in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, and wins at Petit Le Mans and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
“I couldn’t be happier to be back at Le Mans,” said Pumpelly. “This program is really strong, and while you never know what to expect, we should be very well prepared. Patrick Long is of course as good as they come, Tim brings a lot of experience, and Proton Competition is one of the highest regarded in the sport. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to be part of such a program, and I appreciate everyone for bringing me in to it.”
While the race will take place on June 16-17, official testing begins on Sunday, June 3.