600th win for a Porsche race car in the North American IMSA series

600th win for a Porsche race car in the North American IMSA series

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Round 4, Laguna Seca (USA): IMSA win rounds off successful weekend for Porsche Motorsport

Victory for Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Porsche 963 in Laguna Seca
600th win for a Porsche race car in the North American IMSA series
100th win for the Penske team in sports car racing
Ex-Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich impresses with class win for AO Racing

A banner weekend for Porsche Motorsport: After triumphs in both classes of the FIA WEC in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) and works driver António Félix da Costa’s victory at the Formula E home race in Berlin, the success at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Laguna Seca was the icing on the cake. The Porsche 963 driven by Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet won the action-packed thriller in California. This marked the 600th victory for a Porsche racing car in the IMSA series and the 100th triumph for the Penske team in sports car racing. Clinching third place, the sister car shared by the championship leaders Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron continued its podium streak. Moreover, AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R won the GTD class.


In perfect summer conditions and witnessed by a record crowd at the Laguna Seca Raceway, the IMSA series once again delivered a gripping show over 2:40 hours.


After a solid start and thanks to a clever strategy, strong driver performances and decisively good tyre durability, the two Porsche 963 racers from the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team charged their way onto the podium. With just twelve minutes left on the clock, Le Mans winner Nick Tandy made the crucial final move: In a last-ditch push, the UK driver catapulted his No. 6 car past the leading Cadillac and safely brought home the factory team’s second win of the season in North America.


“What an incredible weekend for Porsche,” exclaims Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “First the double success of the Porsche 963 and Manthey’s Porsche 911 GT3 R at the FIA WEC race in Spa, then António Félix da Costa’s triumph at the Formula E race in Berlin and finally victory and a podium place for Porsche Penske Motorsport as well as first place in the GTD Pro class for AO Racing in the IMSA series in Laguna Seca. My heartfelt thanks to everyone in the works and customer teams at the racetracks and at the Weissach R&D Centre for making these incredible successes possible. The results of the last two days make me extremely proud!”


“Laguna Seca is one of my favourite tracks and seeing the Porsche 963 win there today was fantastic,” states Roger Penske, CEO and founder of Penske Corporation. With this result, his team celebrates its 100th victory in sports car racing: “I was in Spa until yesterday evening watching the WEC team, now I was part of the success here in California – and later I’ll follow our team in the Indycar race. Many people know that we’re winners. We’ve underlined this several times with Porsche Penske Motorsport. Now we’re setting our sights on Le Mans.”


“It’s a wonderful day for us,” says Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “Nick and Mathieu delivered a formidable and flawless performance. It was an unforgettable weekend for our global team with a win and podium finish in Laguna Seca and second place in Spa-Francorchamps. I’m very proud to notch up the 100th victory for the Penske organisation in sports car racing. We’re now very much looking forward to the next IMSA race in Detroit and the FIA WEC season highlight in Le Mans.”


In the overall standings, Nasr and Cameron retain first place in the drivers’ standings after round four race of the season, while teammates Tandy and Jaminet progressed to fifth place. Porsche Penske Motorsport ranks first in the team classification. In the manufacturers’ championship, Porsche reduced the gap to the leaders in second place.


The two Porsche 963 racers fielded by the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition finished the race in Laguna Seca in eighth and tenth respectively.


AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R wins GTD Pro class for the first time
The Porsche 911 GT3 R demonstrated its potential in the two GT classes. In the GTD Pro category, the customer team AO Racing brought home a commanding win with the so-called ‘Rexy’ 911. UK racer Sebastian Priaulx laid the groundwork at the wheel of the No. 77 car with a solid drive in his first stint. Former Porsche junior Laurin Heinrich followed up with an inspired drive. For long stretches, the German was undoubtedly the fastest GT driver on the track and built a significant lead over his pursuers. Wright Motorsports’ drivers Adam Adelson and Elliott Skeer finished third in the GTD class.


Round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be held in Detroit on 1 June. The race on the spectacular street circuit is contested over just 100 minutes.


Drivers’ comments after the race
Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): “Our team did a tremendous job. Keep in mind, first, the crew clinches the 100th pole position for Penske in sports car racing, and then a day later the IMSA team scores their 100th victory. The results on both sides of the Atlantic clearly show how much we’ve improved in all areas over the past few months. That’s exactly what we needed. I’m so proud to be a part of it!”


Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): “Luck eluded us in the first three races of the year, but now the tables have finally turned. The team did a perfect job, from preparing the cars to pit stops and strategy. Our Porsche 963 was a dream to drive today. Nick delivered a thrilling and ultimately successful fight for victory. Let’s continue like this.”


Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “Congratulations to our colleagues in the sister car. It was a fantastic day of racing in California for our team. We crossed the finish line in third place with our number 7 car – that earned us a lot of points in our bid for the championship. We’ve extended our lead in the drivers’ standings, which was our goal. During my stints, I came from seventh on the grid and reached the podium. That was great fun.”


Laurin Heinrich (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “I’m over the moon! Not only is this my first win in the IMSA series but also for our AO Racing team and our much-loved ‘Rexy’. Laguna Seca is only our third race with this configuration – and against many factory-supported teams in the notoriously competitive GTD Pro class. I’m immensely grateful and happy.”


Elliott Skeer (Porsche 911 GT3 R #120): “We’re newcomers to the scene so we kept our expectations conservative heading into the Laguna Seca weekend. Now the event is over and we finished on the podium. My mum watched it on TV and I’m sure it was a great Mother’s Day gift for her. I bet the same goes for my teammate Adam’s mum. We surely made our mothers proud today.”


Race result:
GTP class:
1. Jaminet/Tandy (F/UK), Porsche 963 #6, 119 laps
2. Derani/Aitken (BR/UK), Cadillac #31, + 5.764 sec.
3. Nasr/Cameron (BR/USA), Porsche 963 #7, + 34.673 sec.
8. Van der Helm/Westbrook (NL/UK), Porsche 963 #85, + 77.343 sec.
10. Bruni/Viscaal (I/NL), Porsche 963 #5, + 1 lap

GTD-Pro class:
1. Heinrich/Priaulx (D/UK), Porsche 911 GT3 R #77, 111 laps
2. Kirchhöfer/Jarvis (D/UK), McLaren #9, + 9.074 sec.
3. Milner/Catsburg (USA/NL), Corvette #4, + 10.324 sec.

GTD class:
1. Ward/Ellis (USA/UK), Mercedes-AMG #57, 111 laps
2. Foley/Gallagher (USA/USA), BMW #557, + 3.458 sec.
3. Adelson/Skeer (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #120, 9.371 sec.
10. Andretti/Chavez (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #43, + 2 laps
13. Li/Fjordbach (CHN/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R #86, + 2 laps

Full results and championship standings at https://imsa.alkamelsystems.com.

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