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03 Jun 2024

Porsche leads the way in IMSA after Detroit success

The streak of podium finishes for the Porsches 963 continues in Detroit moving them to the top of the constructers table 

 The 100-minute ‘Detroit Sports Car Classic’ had it all: In bright sunshine and summery temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius, fans were treated to an action-packed race that was filled with fierce duels, multiple incidents, five cautions and a complete traffic jam on track. In the final 20 minutes alone, the race was neutralised twice. While Mathieu Jaminet, who at times led the field, pulled out all stops after the last two restarts, ultimately the Frenchman was unable to get past the leading Acura – the eventual winner after 75 laps. At the flag, the No. 6 car was just 1.132 seconds shy of victory. Felipe Nasr had also led the race for several laps at the wheel of the No. 7 sister car only to have a puncture relegate the crew to fourth place.

“We just need to catch our breath after so much turmoil and incidents,” says Urs Kuratle. The Director Factory Motorsport LMDh adds: “We did everything right strategically but were unlucky with contacts and penalties. Still, we’re happy and we’ve continued our series of podium finishes. But even more importantly, Porsche leads all championship classifications. We head to Le Mans in high spirits. Congratulations to the AO Racing outfit for its second victory in a row with the Porsche 911 GT3 R.”

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“We tackled the race from positions one and two only to be hampered by shunts and penalties,” states Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “Nevertheless, we fought back impressively and never let up. At one point our number 6 car even reclaimed the lead but was then overtaken. That can happen. We must do better next time. All in all, this is a solid result. Our situation in the championship looks promising. We’re now looking ahead to Le Mans and then Watkins Glen.”

In the overall rankings, Porsche has now advanced to the top of the leaderboard in the manufacturers’ classification after two wins and podium finishes at all the other three races of the season so far. Daytona winners Nasr and Cameron have further extended their lead in the drivers’ championship, with Tandy and Jaminet advancing to third place. The Porsche Penske Motorsport works team ranks first in the team championship.

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The two Porsche 963 fielded by the customer teams were caught out in several incidents in the Detroit sprint event. In the top GTP class, both 511 kW (695 PS) hybrid prototypes fielded by JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition were ultimately classified in eighth and ninth respectively.

Another GTD-Pro class win for AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R
The Porsche 911 GT3 R from AO Racing has secured its second GTD-Pro class victory in a row. After winning the Laguna Seca race in mid-May, Sebastian Priaulx from the UK and the former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany followed up with another triumph in the streets of Detroit. The crew driving AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R dubbed “Rexy” leads all GTD-Pro classifications.

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Watkins Glen in the US state of New York hosts round six of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on 23 June. But first, Porsche Penske Motorsport and numerous customer teams will tackle the highlight of the year: On 15/16 June, the works team will field three Porsche 963 racers in the world’s greatest endurance race. With 19 outright victories to its credit, the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer is the record holder. The official tests on the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures in Le Mans will be held next weekend.

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