Commanding lights-to-flag victory for the Porsche 963 at Road America

August 6, 2023

  • Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr celebrate maiden victory in the IMSA series
  • Porsche Penske Motorsport's sister car in seventh

Porsche Penske Motorsport celebrates its second win with the Porsche 963. In the race over two hours and 40 minutes at Road America, the No. 7 car brought home a commanding victory. In round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 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: After a puncture early in the race, the No. 6 car took the flag in seventh place.

Stuttgart. Round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the US state of Wisconsin took off with a surprise for the Porsche Penske Motorsport team: Because the pole-sitting Cadillac failed to turn up on the grid in time after an accident during warm-up, Matt Campbell inherited the front spot. During his stint, the Australian proved unbeatable. After just three laps, he had increased his advantage at the front to more than four seconds. 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. The Brazilian then defended the top spot uncontested to take the flag in first place. In the end, the 515 kW+ (700 PS) hybrid prototype from Weissach crossed the finish line with a 4.635-second lead.

The No. 6 sister car only managed to tap the huge potential of the Porsche 963 in the first half hour. In the early stages, Nick Tandy worked his way through the field to fourth place, only to be struck by a major setback: a puncture in the right rear tyre. The UK driver 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 next GTP round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be contested on 17 September at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The American racing series will make its maiden guest outing on the so-called "Brickyard" – which is a combination of the oval outer track and an infield course. Formula 1 used this track layout between 2000 and 2007.

Drivers' comments on the race
Matt Campbell (Porsche 963 #7):
"For us, it was of course a big advantage that we were allowed to start from pole position after the Cadillac had an accident in the warm-up. On this track, it makes a huge difference which side of the grid you start on. There's a lot of dirt off the racing line, but fortunately, we managed to avoid this and turned considerably faster opening laps than our pursuers. Our Porsche 963 was really great to drive in the race – that was somewhat of a surprise after our difficulties on Friday, which makes our performance all the better. I'm thrilled about our first victory with the number 7 car in the IMSA series."

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): "Thank you to the whole team! It was an outstanding effort from everyone. Matt put in a strong first stint and positioned our car solidly at the front of the field. I gave everything at the end to defend that position. It was anything but easy because the Acura in second place had fresher tyres. On top of that, the situations with passing slower cars were often extremely tricky. But it all worked out – finally!"