Qualifying IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Laguna Seca

May 12, 2024

  • Porsche Penske Motorsport in fourth and sixth place in qualifying
  • Customer 963 slightly behind GTP rivals in the time chase
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R from AO Racing in fifth place in the GTD Pro class
  • Start of round four gets underway on Sunday at 12:10 pm local time

The No. 6 Porsche 963 will line up for the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Laguna Seca on the second row of the grid. Works driver Mathieu Jaminet from France planted the 511 kW (695 PS) hybrid prototype from Porsche Penske Motorsport on the fourth grid spot in qualifying. Dane Cameron finished sixth at the wheel of the No. 7 sister car. The American will start tomorrow's 2:40-hour race with Brazilian Felipe Nasr as the leader in the drivers' championship.

Stuttgart. Bright sunshine and ambient temperatures upward of 20 degrees Celsius set the scene as a thrilling battle for the best grid positions unfolded at Laguna Seca Raceway. Following the resealing of the storied circuit, lap times were over two seconds faster than last year. Both of Porsche Penske Motorsport's 963 race cars continued to improve over the course of the 15-minute qualifying session but were just shy of matching the lap times of the race leaders.

"From our point of view, it was a pretty decent qualifying session. The team and the drivers did a good job," summarises Jonathan Diuguid. The Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport adds: "We timed our attacks well so that the cars had a clean run. Nevertheless, it wasn't enough to beat the two Cadillacs and the BMW. I'm optimistic for the race. We're well within striking distance of the competition so we still think we have a good chance."

The two Porsche 963 vehicles from the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition were slightly off the pace of the works cars. Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm finished ninth in the No. 85 car. His fellow countryman Bent Viscaal, who makes his debut at the wheel of the hybrid prototype from Weissach this weekend, finished the IMSA qualifying in tenth place.

AO Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 R in fifth place on the grid in the GTD Pro Class

The Porsche customer teams struggled to join the battle for top spots in the two GT classes. In the GTD-Pro category, AO Racing's 911 GT3 R secured a place on the third row of the grid. British driver Sebastian Priaulx set the fifth-fastest lap time at the wheel of the bright green nine-eleven, affectionately called 'Rexy'. In the GTD class, the customer cars from Andretti Motorsports, Wright Motorsports and MDK Motorsports which produce up to 415 kW (565 PS) will start the race from positions eleven, twelve and fifteen respectively.

Round four of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Laguna Seca runs over 2 hours and 40 minutes. The race gets underway on Sunday, 12 May at 12:10 local time (21:10 CEST). Outside of North America, the entire race can be watched via a free live stream on IMSA.tv.

Drivers' comments after qualifying

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): "When I look at the results we achieved in the free practices, fourth place is good. That's where we stand in the competition at the moment. My fastest lap was flawless and good. However, looking at the tiny gaps and chances, I always feel that a little more would've been possible. I'm sure that we can do better in the race."

Dane Cameron (Porsche 963 #7): "It was the first qualifying session on the new tarmac - and it was close. Half a tenth of a second made a big difference. Our car feels good. I'm confident that we're ready for the race. The new surface has changed the conditions, so I expect the competition to be very different from previous years. We want to work our way forward and continue our streak of podium finishes."

Results Qualifying:
GTP class:

1. Bourdais/Van der Zande (F/NL), Cadillac #01, 1:12.445 minutes
2. Derani/Aitken (BR/UK), Cadillac #31, 1:12.557 minutes
3. Krohn/Eng (FIN/A), BMW #24, 1:12.649 minutes
4. Jaminet/Tandy (F/UK), Porsche 963 #6, 1:12.664 minutes
6. Nasr/Cameron (BR/USA), Porsche 963 #7, 1:12.771 minutes
9. Van der Helm/Westbrook (NL/UK), Porsche 963 #85, 1:13.184 minutes
10. Bruni/Viscaal (I/NL), Porsche 963 #5, 1:13.314 minutes