Porsche Penske Motorsport takes uncontested pole

June 24, 2023

  • Heavy rain red-flags the GTP qualifying at Watkins Glen
  • Grid line-up determined by current standings in the team classification
  • Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet on pole without turning a lap

Works drivers Nick Tandy from the UK and Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet will tackle the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen from pole position. The duo in the No. 6 Porsche 963 achieved this grid position for round five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship without a contest: Due to heavy rain, the qualifying session for the top GTP class on Saturday (24 June) was cancelled.

Stuttgart. Only two of the five classes could take part in the qualifying sessions in a conventional way for round five of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After the two GT categories had completed their hunt for top times, the onset of rain resulted in numerous slips in the LMP qualifying and the session was quickly red-flagged. The planned qualification for the top GTP category, which included Porsche Penske Motorsport's two Porsche 963, was cancelled. The grid positions will be determined based on the current standings in the team championship. Hence, the No. 6 car shared by the two works drivers Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet, who currently lead the classification, will head into Sunday's race from pole position.

The No. 7 sister car driven by Felipe Nasr from Brazil and Matt Campbell from Australia will take up the six-hour endurance race from position six. The 963 campaigned by the customer squad JDC-Miller MotorSports will line up on the grid in P9.

"Pole position without having driven – not bad either," sums up Urs Kuratle, Director of Factory Motorsport LMDh. "We would've liked to gain experience with the rain tyres in qualifying. Unfortunately, we only have the short warm-up on Sunday morning to prepare for the race. However, all the competitors are in the same boat in this respect. Overall, our cars have run smoothly and steadily at Watkins Glen so far, and we feel well-prepared for the endurance race. We're yet to see exactly where we stand compared to the competition, but it should work out well."

"We're happy with pole – and we thoroughly deserve it," comments Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. "We get the first grid spot because we're leading the team standings. This is the direct result of a good job by the whole team over the past months. It wasn't just handed to us. Now, we're starting the race from first place. Hopefully, we'll be in the same position when we cross the finish line."

Drivers' comments on the qualifying
Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6):
"The decision to cancel the qualifying was certainly the right one because safety should always come first. Of course, we would all have preferred to take part in the qualifying. Although the grid positions are not the most important thing in a six-hour race, the qualifying session is always an exciting and interesting competition where we can earn important points. Unfortunately, we don't get any additional points for our pole position today – but that's the way the rules are set out. The fact that we're at the front is well-deserved because it's the result of our great work over the past few months."