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07 Aug 2023

Commanding victory for the 963 at Road America

Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr celebrate maiden victory in the IMSA series

Porsche Penske Motorsport celebrated a second win with the Porsche 963, with a lights to flag victory for the No.7 car in round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road America. The two works drivers Matt Campbell from Australia and Felipe Nasr from Brazil held the lead from start to finish.
The sister car shared by Nick Tandy from Great Britain and Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet was hit by bad luck, suffering a puncture early on in the race, which dashed any hopes of a podium finish, but still managed to finish in seventh place. The customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition put in a strong drive to finish in positions five and eight.
The race started with a surprise for the Porsche Penske Motorsport team when the pole-placed Cadillac failed to turn up on the grid in time after an accident during warm-up. After inheriting the front spot, Matt Campbell proved to be unbeatable, increasing his advantage at the front to more than four seconds in just three laps. Campbell then continued to pull clear of his pursuers, stretching the gap to well over ten seconds before handing the car off to his teammate Felipe Nasr, defended the top spot uncontested to take the flag in first place.
In the early stages, Nick Tandy worked his way through the field to fourth place in the No.6 car, only to be struck by a puncture in the right rear tyre. Tandy carefully limped back to the pits for an unscheduled stop, which cost him around two minutes. With no full course yellows, it proved impossible to close the gap in the action-packed race. Ultimately, Tandy and his teammate Jaminet finished seventh.
“Congratulations to the team and our drivers: That was a flawless team effort,” says a delighted Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “After a difficult first day of practice, we consolidated our efforts to turn things around and tapped the huge potential of the Porsche 963 in qualifying and the race. This was possible thanks to the perfect synergy between the crew at the track and the team back in Weissach. Everyone put in a strong performance. The pace of our number 6 was great too. Unfortunately, a puncture destroyed all hopes – that’s how it goes in motor racing sometimes. I take my hat off to our customer teams in the GTP class, who put in a clean performance and fast lap times here.”
“Everyone did an excellent job,” states Jonathan Diuguid. The Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport adds: “We didn't have the pace on Friday, but we saw today that the team worked together to perform well in the race. Both cars had great pace. Unfortunately, our number 6 entry lost positions due to a puncture early in the race, but at least it managed to get back into the same lap as the leader. Matt and Felipe did a perfect job in the No. 7 car – and that effort earned us our victory. Now we've won one race each with both cars. That’s fantastic. We also closed the gap in the manufacturers’ championship.”
In the manufacturers’ standings, Porsche has advanced to third place. With two more races remaining, the gap to the top is only 47 points. In the drivers’ championship, Tandy/Jaminet and Campbell/Nasr rank fourth and seventh respectively and still have an outside chance of winning the title.
The two Porsche 963 racing cars fielded by customer teams delivered strong and flawless drives. Germany’s Mike Rockenfeller and his Dutch teammate Tijmen van der Helm set an impressive pace at times in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports car, even matching the pace of the factory squad. The car decked out in its bright yellow livery concluded the race in fifth place overall. The identical GTP model campaigned by Proton Competition finished its IMSA series debut in eighth with works driver Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and Englishman Harry Tincknell.
Race results
GTP class:
1. Campbell/Nasr (AUS/BR), Porsche 963 #7, 80 laps
2. Blomqvist/Braun (UK/USA), Acura #60, 80 laps
3. Taylor/Albuquerque (USA/P), Acura #10, 80 laps
5. Rockenfeller/van der Helm (D/NL), Porsche 963 #5, 80 laps
7. Tandy/Jaminet (UK/F), Porsche 963 #6, 80 laps
8. Bruni/Tincknell (I/UK), Porsche 963 #59, 80 laps

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