Eyes on Year Two: A Look Forward with Jonathan Diuguid and Travis Law

January 24, 2024

A new season means new opportunities. For Porsche Penske Motorsport (PPM), 2023 featured its fair share of triumphs and challenges. Prior to this weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona, we sat down with Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director, Porsche Penske Motorsport and Travis Law, Competition Director, Porsche Penske Motorsport, to assess the 2023 season along with goals for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) seasons

Watch PPM compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend with live coverage beginning on Saturday, January 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC.


Jonathan Diuguid

Q: When you look back at 2023, what were some of the key learnings?

2023 was a building year for the program. We were able to have some successes in both the IMSA and WEC championships. The biggest thing we got in 2023 was track time and experience and taking all those learnings and opportunities to which, we were exposed to. Whether it was performance in the races or operational, we made sure to learn from all those opportunities and make sure we got into 2024 stronger. That is the goal and we have had productive discussions throughout the team and look forward to starting the year.

Q: What was the feeling seeing the car score its first win at Long Beach?

Long Beach from the performance side was not the best race for us, but I think as a team we maximized everything else and it brought us to Victory Lane. It was really a team effort, not only between the drivers of the No. 6 and No. 7 car. With our tire strategy, it was vital for them to help support running in second place and holding off the competition for quite a long time. The mechanics did a fantastic job on pit road and the cars ran flawlessly on the race weekend and led to a race win for the program. Regardless of how we got there, getting to victory lane is a huge justification for the team and validation of all the hard work that everybody else puts in.

Q: Winning at Indianapolis is always special for the Penske organization. Talk about the effort put into that event?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds a special place within the team around the Indy 500 and the connection with one of our sister companies, Penske Entertainment. Anytime we go to a new circuit, it is an opportunity for us. We put in a lot of effort through test days both in the heat of the summer and in the middle of the night to make sure we were prepared for that event. It was a culmination of all that testing and all the effort through that point of the season. I view that as another race of flawless execution from the team, drivers and mechanics alike, combined with the performance that really made it a dominant weekend with us leading every practice session, qualifying and finishing 1-2.

Q: The main storyline in last year’s 24 Hours of Daytona was reliability. What is this year’s focus heading into the race?

The endurance races, especially the 24-hour ones, you must be running at the finish to be able to go for the win. The reliability of the cars is going to improve every time they are on the race track, not just ours but our competitors as well. Making sure we have not only reliability, but the pace and performance to keep up is key. We have done two endurance tests in the past couple of months to try to make sure we prove out all the components, but we have also been focusing on improving the performance of the car across those tests as well.

Q: How will the dynamics of this year’s 24 Hours of Daytona change going from three to four drivers per car?

Three drivers are already a lot; four drivers are a party at that point. We have a good driver crew, and they all get along well, which is unique. They work well together and understand what everybody wants and are willing to compromise, but also push the team to do the best job they can. Adding another driver, the caliber of Josef Newgarden especially helps, and we have a strong stable to pull from the WEC program as well. We have put together what we feel are the four strongest driver pairings for our two cars in the field and we are excited to hit the race track with them and see what we can do.

Q: Talk about the move to swap Dane Cameron and Matt Campbell. What strengths will that bring to the respective lineups?

We are making the decision between great and great there. Those guys are very accomplished and have done well in previous races in their career, but really functioned well with the team in 2023. We had a look at the pros and cons of making some changes to improve our performance, but in general there is no bad decision there. Matt was extremely strong in the IMSA championship in 2023 and showed that he was able to compete at the highest level and similarly with Dane as well in the WEC. We felt like we needed to make a change because we did not meet our goals, which are to win championships in both series.

Q: With four new tracks on the WEC calendar, what opportunities and challenges will that bring and how will you prepare for those new tracks?

The WEC is adding a race this year, going from seven to eight races. We have a good number of additional overseas events. Looking back on 2023, some of the discussion points we had and the biggest difference between the two championships is IMSA being a North American championship, which really gives us the chance to test at every race track that we compete at. The WEC having more international races that is more difficult. The new races we have in WEC [Qatar, Imola, Sao Paulo and COTA] we will have the opportunity to test at three out of the four circuits prior to going there. We held a test in Qatar at the end of last year and a test in COTA in December and will be able to get to Imola in the early part of 2024. I view those circuits as opportunities and we are putting in a lot of effort to make sure we are prepared not just in the real world, but also in the virtual world with our driver simulator and other simulation tools.

Q: The pace of the Porsche 963 continued to improve last year in WEC. What will it take to get that first win?

The level of competition in the WEC is increasing. The new manufacturers are coming on with Lamborghini, BMW, and others. There's a large field of teams that are prepared to win. It is going to take perfect execution and pure pace to win those races. The WEC is going to be as hard as it has ever been to be successful there and we are ready for that challenge.


Travis Law

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges and strengths looking back at 2023?

Looking back at 2023, I think if you asked me [that question] every week I would give you a different answer. Starting the year, we faced some shipping delays with both programs in IMSA and WEC. That transitioned into some reliability issues that we saw throughout the season with the LMDh car. But all those weaknesses and challenges that we faced, we were able to tackle them as a team and as a global effort. Sebring was a really good highlight where we had both programs, on the same weekend, using shared components and making trips across the paddock allowed us to be successful. The thing we were most proud of was the group stayed focused on whatever challenges we had, and we were able to overcome them as the season progressed.

Q: Overseeing the technical aspects of two teams is certainly a challenge. How did you balance your time between both?

Balancing time between both programs is an important part for me, personally, and for the group to be able to support all of the talented individuals we have both in the IMSA and WEC programs. It is one global team, so my role is working directly with people on-site in both programs, attending race and test events for both to make sure we are transferring knowledge and information amongst all of our personnel.

Q: The main storyline in last year’s 24 Hours of Daytona was reliability. What is this year’s focus heading into the race?

We are looking forward to Daytona this year in 2024. It is a 24-hour race so reliability is always going to be a talking point or storyline. Last year with the new program and new era of the LMDh cars, [reliability] was the main focus. This year we have to execute on reliability and the issues that we faced last year. At the end of the race, we have to be in a position where we have a car that is competitive. If we can do that, the competition and performance side is going to be the key factor in the race for us.

Q: How will the dynamics of this year’s 24 Hours of Daytona change going from three to four drivers per car?

As we add drivers to the lineup – going from three to four –the race engineers are going to have their work cut out for them to give the drivers a race car that is going to keep them happy throughout a stint or double stints. All of our drivers have worked really well together and are focused on starting with the best setup we can for Daytona. With the increased driver lineup, it does give us some flexibility throughout the race to change drivers out if they are struggling with something or get tired. We can put in another driver which will help us have a fresh driver for the end of the race, as well.

Q: With four new tracks on the WEC calendar, what opportunities and challenges will that bring and how will you prepare for those new tracks?

Specifically speaking to the WEC calendar in 2024, we obviously went to a lot of the tracks already and we have a lot of data and information gathered. That will be a big asset for us this season. In 2023, we were able to test at two of the tracks that are upcoming for next year, so we were able to gather that information, again, same as the race that we had been to last year. We look forward to getting to the tracks that we have not been to yet before we go for the race weekend.

Q: The pace of the Porsche 963 continued to improve last year in WEC. What will it take to get that first win?

The WEC program – same as in IMSA – we try to focus on what we can control and not what other teams or cars are doing. If we are executing on our starting setups, having top-quality pit stops and race strategy that’s on-point – we already have the best drivers, so that obviously helps – if we can do all those things, you’re going to see us at the front of the pack.

Q: You served as Josef Newgarden’s Chief Mechanic for one of his two championships and are now working with him on the Porsche program. How has it been to reconnect and what strengths does he bring from his INDYCAR success?

It has been really good working with Josef on the Porsche 963. Obviously, his success is very well-known at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in INDYCAR. I know he worked really hard within Team Penske to be in a position to join this program and contribute with the other drivers. It has been really positive for the group. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to it. One thing he does bring is fresh perspective. All the drivers have been with the car during its development phase and know the pros and cons and have that in the back of their minds, whereas [Newgarden] comes in with a fresh outlook and a fresh perspective on some of the issues that we face or the positive things that we’re doing. That has been really helpful for the group, and he has come in very open-minded and knows that he is a student of endurance racing right now and working really well with the other drivers and engineers to try and execute on the level he expects to.