Porsche Penske Motorsport's best Porsche 963 starts from fifth grid spot – Porsche Newsroom

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The No. 7 Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team will tackle the 12-hour race at Sebring from fifth on the grid. In the qualifying session, Brazilian Felipe Nasr planted the hybrid prototype on the third grid row. His works driver colleague Mathieu Jaminet from France walked away from an accident at the wheel of the No. 6 sister car uninjured. 
His works driver colleague Mathieu Jaminet from France walked away from an accident at the wheel of the No. 6 sister car uninjured. The customer 963 race cars campaigned by JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition finished sixth and seventh respectively. In the GTD Pro class, AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R set the third-fastest qualifying time.
In bright sunshine and air temperatures of almost 30 degrees Celsius, the eleven-strong field contesting the top GTP class went out on the racetrack as soon as the session was given the green light. The aim was to carefully warm up the Michelin tyres for maximum grip to clock the fastest lap time from the third lap onwards. However, this strategy came to an abrupt end: At around the five-minute mark, works driver Mathieu Jaminet crashed into the track barrier at the exit of the first corner at the wheel of the No. 6 car. “I’m okay,” was the Frenchman’s immediate response on the radio. However, this put an early end to the session for Porsche Penske Motorsport’s 963.
After the debris was cleared, the stewards reopened the Sebring International Raceway for another 3:30 minutes. A gripping battle for the best grid positions unfolded, which saw Felipe Nasr claim P5 at the wheel of the Daytona-winning car. The identical hybrid cars from JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition followed in sixth and seventh place.
“This result is nowhere near what we expected,” says Urs Kuratle. The Director Factory Motorsport LMDh adds: “Mathieu Jaminet had an accident. We’ll take a close look at the data to figure out what happened there. The most important thing is that he’s okay. Our starting positions could be better, but there are twelve hours of racing ahead of us. We’ll get our chances. I remain confident.”

“Qualifying at Sebring is held at the hottest time of the day, which always makes it difficult. We lacked a bit of pace,” explains Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “Unfortunately, the session was interrupted due to Mathieu Jaminet’s accident. Now, we have to repair the number 6 car and analyse what exactly happened. Felipe Nasr only had two fast laps left at the end. Let’s see what we can make happen in the race.”

In the top GTP class, the two customer-run Porsche 963 entries of JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition qualified in sixth and seventh place. At one point, the UK race driver Phil Hanson topped the GTP-class timesheet before Jaminet’s accident halted the session but was unable to make any decisive progress at the wheel of the American team’s No. 85 car. Former Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer from France planted Proton Competition’s Porsche 963 on a strong seventh place in his first GTP qualifying session.
The Porsche customer teams tackling the two GT categories only managed to partially meet expectations. The 911 GT3 R fielded by AO Racing achieved another strong result in the GTD Pro class: Daytona polesitter Sebastian Priaulx put the “Rexy” 911 on P3. The Englishman shares the cockpit with works driver Michael Christensen from Denmark and former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany. In the GTD category, the three 911 cars from Wright Motorsports, Andretti Motorsports and MDK Motorsports will start from positions 15, 18 and 19.

Round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, at 9:40 am local time (2:40 pm CET). The 72nd running of the 12-hour race in Sebring may turn into a milestone for Porsche and its partner team Penske: The car manufacturer from Stuttgart could clinch its 600th victory in the North American IMSA, and for the Penske team, this would mark the 100th victory in sports car racing.

At the endurance classic in Florida, the two Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team will be decked out in slightly different liveries. This weekend, the logos of long-standing partner Mobil 1 will shine in gold. This is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the renowned lubricant brand of the mineral oil company ExxonMobil.
Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): “We’d hoped for a better result for our number 6 Porsche 963. I’m fine so far, but I’m very sorry about the accident and for the Porsche Penske Motorsport team and all my colleagues at Porsche in Weissach. Unfortunately, the guys now have a bit of work to do on our car. It’s a shame because the Porsche was running brilliantly on my first lap. A grid position in the top three would have been within reach. Now, we can only look ahead to the race. If our car is competitive again there, we have twelve hours to make up ground.”

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “The result is okay. On Thursday, we initially had to overcome a few obstacles in setting up the car during the free practice sessions. It took us a very long time to find a decent car balance in these hot conditions. In the end, it went quite well. A lot can still happen in the race. I’m confident that we can continue to fight our way up the order.”

Julien Andlauer (Porsche 963 #5): “It was an unusual qualifying session for all the teams and drivers. I only had time for a single flying lap at the end. We also learned a lot about our car in the qualifying, which was the main thing. Our Porsche 963 is in one piece – that’s the most important thing coming into such a long and strenuous race.”

Phil Hanson (Porsche 963 #85): “My first fast lap went well, but then the red flags came out. When the track was reopened, my tyres had already gone through a heat cycle and simply didn’t provide enough grip – a real shame, because more would certainly have been possible. The interruption robbed us of the well-deserved reward for our good work in practice.”

Sebastian Priaulx (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “Of course, I would’ve liked to be a little further up the field, but we can live with third place – it’s a good starting position for a long race. My lap was clean and fast. I really got everything out of it, I did everything possible! I wasn’t able to match the lap times of the two cars in front of me. Hopefully, we can advance a bit further tomorrow from third on the grid.”
 
GTP class:
1. Derani/Aitken/Blomqvist (BR/UK/MC), Cadillac V-Series.R #31, 1:48.152 minutes
2. Bourdais/Van der Zande/Dixon (F/NL/NZ), Cadillac V-Series.R #01, 1:48.299 minutes
3. Eng/Krohn/Farfus (A/SF/MC), BMW M Hybrid V8 #24, 1:48.829 minutes
5. Nasr/Cameron/Campbell (BR/USA/AUS), Porsche 963 #7, 1:49.179 minutes
6. Hanson/Van der Helm/Westbrook (UK/NL/UK), Porsche 963 #85, 1:49.258 minutes
7. Andlauer/Bruni/Picariello (F/I/B), Porsche 963 #5, 1:49.274 minutes
10. Jaminet/Tandy/Makowiecki (F/UK/F), Porsche 963 #6, no time

GTD Pro class:
1. Hawksworth/Barnicoat/Kirkwood (UK/UK/USA), Lexus #14, 1:58.714 minutes
2. Gunn/Riberas/Farnbacher (UK/E/D), Aston Martin #23, 1:59.264 minutes
3. Heinrich/Priaulx/Christensen (D/UK/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R #77, 1:59.446 minutes

GTD class:
1. Ward/Ellis/Dontje (USA/CH/NL), Mercedes-AMG #57, 1:58.778 minutes
2. Lacorte/Sernagiotto/Fuoco (I/I/I), Ferrari #47, 1:59.014 minutes
3. Montecalvo/Thompson/Telitz (USA/CDN/USA), Lexus #12, 1:59.143 minutes
15. Adelson/Skeer/Heylen(USA/USA/B), Porsche 911 GT3 R #120, 2:01.364 minutes
18. Andretti/Chavez/Hargrove (USA/USA/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R #43, 2:01.958 minutes
19. Li/Fjordbach/Bachler (CHN/DK/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #86, 2:03.970 minutes

Full results on https://imsa.alkamelsystems.com.
At the tradition-steeped 12-hour classic in the US state of Florida, the regular drivers will be supported by their works driver colleagues Frédéric Makowiecki from France and Australia’s Matt Campbell. The customer teams Proton Competition and JDC-Miller MotorSports will tackle the top GTP category with two more Porsche 963 race cars. In the two GT classes, a total of four Porsche 911 GT3 R from seasoned customer squads will face fierce competition.
With 18 victories, Porsche is the undisputed record winner of the legendary 12-hour race in Central Florida. After its success at the season opener in Daytona, the works team travels to Sebring leading the manufacturers’, team and drivers’ standings. Porsche also currently leads the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup manufacturers’ standings. This additional long-distance championship includes the longest races of the season – in Sebring and Daytona as well as the Watkins Glen and Indianapolis races and the season finale, “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta.
“Our team has gained a lot of confidence on both sides of the Atlantic at the start of the 2024 season,” grins Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “We can’t afford to rest on our laurels following our successes in Daytona and most recently the FIA WEC opener in Qatar. The team, car and driver squad are at the absolute top of their game – we’ve clearly shown that. Nevertheless, Sebring poses a serious challenge. The track characteristics are very different from Daytona or Qatar. Sebring is always a test of stamina for both man and machine – nothing comes for free there. We have to work with total concentration, be strategically clever and do a flawless job.”
“It was fantastic to start the 2024 season with wins in both the IMSA Championship and the World Endurance Championship,” explains Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “We’re relieved to see that our measures to improve the team processes and the car are working. Due to the unique features of the Sebring circuit, the cards will be reshuffled. Despite our recent successes, we’re not the favourites at the starting line. Anything is possible in the IMSA endurance races – we saw that last year: Despite a lack of pace, we were suddenly on course for victory shortly before the chequered flag, only to lose it all. The pendulum can swing so quickly in either direction, we’re acutely aware of that.”
“Porsche Penske Motorsport had a dream start to the 2024 racing season,” states Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “As we focus towards the second round of the IMSA championship, the 12 Hours of Sebring brings a different set of challenges. The start of 2024 shows that our hard work in the winter months paid off, but racing never stops and our competitors are working hard. We have taken learnings from Daytona and Qatar and had strong test days in Sebring so there’s no reason we can’t continue to raise our game and strive for another race win. Our team and drivers are looking forward to riding the bumps with our 963s for twelve hours and pushing for the top step of the podium.“
The revered endurance race in Sebring is considered the ultimate endurance challenge for man and machine and also the perfect preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. At no other circuit on the racing calendar does the technology have to withstand such high loads. One reason is the nature of the storied racetrack on the former military airfield. About a third of the racetrack consists of concrete slabs, with the hefty bumps posing a unique challenge. Due to this special feature, the racetrack is often mentioned on social media with the hashtag #RespectTheBumps.
The 12-hour race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on the 6.02-kilometre Sebring International Raceway will be held for the 72nd time. With 18 overall wins, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at this long-distance classic. The last triumph for a racing car from Weissach was in 2008. Timo Bernhard from Germany and the two Frenchmen Romain Dumas and Emmanuel Collard won at the wheel of the Penske team’s Porsche RS Spyder against an armada of more powerful LMP1 prototypes. With a win in Sebring, the Penske team would achieve another milestone: To date, Porsche’s American partner team has notched up a total of 99 victories and 99 pole positions in sports car racing.
Three works drivers will crew each of the two Porsche 963 race cars fielded by Porsche Penske Motorsport in the 12-hour race. Mathieu Jaminet from France and Nick Tandy from Great Britain will share the wheel of the No. 6 car with Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki. Felipe Nasr from Brazil and Dane Cameron from the USA will receive reinforcement from the Daytona and Bathurst winner Matt Campbell in the No. 7 sister car. The Australian also recently clinched the first pole position for the Porsche 963 in the World Endurance Championship in Qatar.
In the top GTP class, the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition field one Porsche 963 each. In the German team’s No. 5 car, works driver Gianmaria Bruni from Italy will share the cockpit with former Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer from France and Belgian Alessio Picariello. In the JDC-Miller MotorSports car (No. 85), Tijmen van der Helm from the Netherlands and the seasoned pro Richard Westbrook (UK) will be the regular drivers. They receive support at the endurance race in Florida from Phil Hanson (UK).
AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R will contest the GTD Pro category. Former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany and Briton Sebastian Priaulx are the regular drivers in the No. 77 car. In Sebring, they can count on support from works driver Michael Christensen from Denmark. In the GTD class, the customer teams Andretti Motorsports, MDK Motorsports and Wright Motorsports will each enter one of the GT3 racing cars from Weissach. Klaus Bachler, among others, will compete for MDK. The Austrian recently won the LMGT3 class in Qatar at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 R from Manthey PureRxcing.
Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): “We had a long break after Daytona – I’m glad things are getting underway again. Unfortunately, our number 6 car didn’t have such a spectacular start to the season as the sister car did. We weren’t able to finish on the podium and score as many points so we still have a score to settle. Hopefully, everything runs smoothly in Sebring. We’ll compete knowing that our car and our team are well-prepared and in top form. Now, we’re ready to reap our well-earned rewards.”
Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “We’d very much like to have a say in the overall victory again at Sebring. During our test in February, we ran through numerous setup variants. That was important and proved beneficial. The track is famous for its hard bumps. It puts us drivers under enormous strain and also puts the hardware under more stress than any other venue. We’re arriving at Sebring in top form. Our package is strong, and so is our driver line-up. I’m full of anticipation and confidence. We’ll tackle this next task step by step and with total focus.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 963 #5): “On the one hand, I get slightly worried when I think about Sebring. Unlike all the other teams, we skipped the test – that’s a considerable disadvantage on such a unique circuit. On the other hand, I’m really looking forward to the next race and my drive in the Porsche 963: the car is simply marvellous. We want to get as close as possible to the level of the works team. In Sebring, I’ll be sharing the car with Alessio Picariello again. Julien Andlauer will also be on board for the first time. Both of them are young and fast. I think we’re very well positioned in this respect.”

Richard Westbrook (Porsche 963 #85): “As one of the great classics of international endurance racing, Sebring is one of my favourite races on the IMSA calendar – there’s always a very special atmosphere there. The tradition and history are truly palpable. I won at Sebring in 2013 and came very close to another success in 2022 when I finished second with JDC-Miller. The track poses a huge challenge for both the car and driver, and the setup often gives the engineers a headache. Our tests at Sebring a few weeks ago were successful so that makes us confident. We’ve also enjoyed following Porsche and its customer teams’ recent successes. We’d like to contribute to continuing the great run so far this year.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “It’s great to finally be taking part in the 12-hour race at Sebring again. Our performance in Daytona was strong. We certainly didn’t have the very best car over a flying lap but it looked much better over the distance. Second place was the reward for perfect work. We’ve learned a lot and now we want to put this into practice at Sebring. Hopefully, we’ll be good for a class win. I’m already looking forward to my second race in AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R.”
GTP class (Porsche 963):
Proton Competition #5: Gianmaria Bruni (I) / Alessio Picariello (B) / Julien Andlauer (F)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #6: Mathieu Jaminet (F) / Nick Tandy (UK) / Frédéric Makowiecki (F)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #7: Dane Cameron (USA) / Felipe Nasr (BR) / Matt Campbell (AUS)
JDC-Miller MotorSports #85: Tijmen van der Helm (NL) / Richard Westbrook (UK) / Phil Hanson (UK)

GTD Pro class (Porsche 911 GT3 R):
AO Racing #77: Laurin Heinrich (D) / Sebastian Priaulx (UK) / Michael Christensen (DK)

GTD class (Porsche 911 GT3 R):
Andretti Motorsports #43: Jarett Andretti (USA) / Gabby Chaves (COL) / Scott Hargrove (CDN)
MDK Motorsports #86: Anders Fjordbach (DK) / Kerong Li (CHN) / Klaus Bachler (A)
Wright Motorsports #120: Adam Adelson (USA) / Elliott Skeer (USA) / Jan Heylen (B)
Thursday, 14 March
10:05 am – 11:35 am: Free practice 1
3:05 pm – 4:35 pm: Free practice 2
7:45 pm – 9:15 pm: Free practice 3

Friday, 15 March
12:20 pm – 12:35 pm: Qualifying GTD class
1:10 pm – 1:25 pm: Qualifying GTP class

Saturday, 16 March
9:40 am – 9:40 pm: Race
1960 – Gendebien/Herrmann (Porsche RS-60)
1968 – Siffert/Herrmann (Porsche 907)
1971 – Elford/Larrousse (Porsche 917 K)
1973 – Haywood/Gregg/Helmick (Porsche Carrera RSR)
1976 – Holbert/Keyser (Porsche Carrera RSR)
1977 – Dyer/Frisselle (Porsche Carrera RSR)
1978 – Redman/Mendez/Garretson (Porsche 935)
1979 – Akin/McFarlin/Woods (Porsche 935)
1980 – Fitzpatrick/Barbour (Porsche 935 K3)
1981 – Leven/Haywood/Holbert (Porsche 935/80)
1982 – Paul Sr./Paul Jr. (Porsche 935 JLP-3)
1983 – Baker/Mullen/Nierop (Porsche 934)
1984 – Heyer/de Narvaéz/Johansson (Porsche 935 J)
1985 – Wollek/Foyt (Porsche 962)
1986 – Akin/Stuck/Gartner (Porsche 962)
1987 – Rahal/Mass (Porsche 962)
1988 – Ludwig/Stuck (Porsche 962)
2008 – Bernhard/Dumas/Collard (Porsche RS Spyder)
Spokesperson GT and Customer Motorsports
The No. 7 Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team has won the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Porsche Penske Motorsport stormed to a maiden victory with the Porsche 963 in the FIA WEC.
Porsche Penske Motorsport heads into the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship well prepared.
Porsche and Team Penske have gone to great lengths to transform a former Porsche Center into a high-tech facility.
© 2024 Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG.
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