Porsche wraps up IMSA season second in manufacturers’ championship

The two Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport factory squad went unrewarded for their tireless fight for the championship. In the last race of this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road Atlanta, the two hybrid prototypes from Weissach crossed the finish line in fourth and tenth in the top GTP class. The identical LMDh racing car from the Proton Competition customer team concluded the so-called 10-hour “Petit Le Mans” event on the winner’s podium in third place. In both GT classes, Porsche customer teams achieved podium results with the 911 GT3 R.

The race

In sunny conditions and witnessed by large crowds in the US state of Georgia, almost everyone experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. The Porsche Penske Motorsport works team tackled the race with high hopes of winning the manufacturers’ title. The regular driver pairings Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet (#6) as well as Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr (#7) were also in the running for the drivers’ championship crown. However, the dream of winning the title in the first year of the new top GTP class was quickly shattered for the British-French duo. After just 75 minutes of racing, Tandy became the innocent victim of a shunt by two competitors. Although the No. 6 car was sent back out on the track after extensive repair work, it ended up in the barriers after being hit again – and was forced into retirement. At this point, works driver Laurens Vanthoor was behind the wheel of the Porsche 963.

From then on, all hopes were pinned on the No. 7 sister car. After around two and a half hours of racing, Campbell catapulted the 963 into the lead for the first time thanks to some inspired overtaking manoeuvres. At that stage, Porsche, the Porsche Penske Motorsport team and the drivers Campbell/Nasr were at the top of the overall standings. Indycar star Josef Newgarden, who joined the regular crew as support, kept contact with the leaders during his stints and handed the No. 7 cockpit over to the Felipe Nasr. With three hours left on the clock, the Brazilian then swapped with the Australian again while running in fifth place. Setting impressive lap times and with steely determination, Campbell ploughed through the field – only for his charge to be thwarted by five safety car phases. The race finally ended under yellow, where the chance to overtake was no longer possible. Campbell/Nasr/Newgarden finished the “Petit Le Mans” in fourth place.

 Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#7), Felipe Nasr (BR), Matt Campbell (AUS), Josef Newgarden (USA), IMSA, Braselton, Race, 2023, Porsche AG

“We fought until the very last lap, but lady luck just wasn’t on our side today,” summed up Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “Our number 6 was out of the title race very early through no fault of its own. The crew in the sister car also lacked the necessary stroke of luck in the final phase, especially at the last refuelling stop. With three wins and two poles in the first year of competition with the Porsche 963, we can stand proud. The results in the second half of the season were clear evidence of a huge improvement throughout the year. Congratulations to the champions of the 2023 IMSA season and also to our customer team Proton Competition, who clinched their first podium at Road Atlanta.”

“Cadillac took the title in a thrilling finale. Congratulations to them,” said Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “Congratulations as well to Proton Competition. Our customer squad fought hard for today’s podium finish with the Porsche 963. After the accident involving the number 6 car, we tried everything today to get the sister car in front. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. We were fast, it was close, but we just didn’t quite pull it together. The others were simply a bit better today.”

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Nick Tandy (UK), Mathieu Jaminet (F), Laurens Vanthoor (B); Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#7), Felipe Nasr (BR), Matt Campbell (AUS), Josef Newgarden (USA), IMSA, Braselton, Race, 2023, Porsche AG

“In the last race of the first year with the Porsche 963 and our new team, we didn’t get the result we had hoped for,” summarises Jonathan Diuguid. The Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport adds: “We all gave everything we had. Our number 6 car dropped out of the race due to accidents, then we put all our eggs in one basket with number 7. Unfortunately, some yellow flags came out at inopportune times for us. Other cars, which were hardly at the top during the race, suddenly appeared at the front. We would’ve loved to win a title, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’re looking to change that in 2024!”

One team to profit under the penultimate yellow phase was the Porsche customer squad Proton Competition. The No. 59 Porsche 963 helmed by works driver Gianmaria Bruni from Italy, Neel Jani from Switzerland and Englishman Harry Tincknell took the flag in third place. The identical prototype fielded by JDC-Miller MotorSports, which the regular drivers Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) and Tijmen van der Helm (Netherlands) shared with the British ex-Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, finished in fifth place.

 Porsche 963, Proton Competition (#59), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Harry Tincknell (UK), Neel Jani (CH), IMSA, Braselton, Race, 2023, Porsche AG

Porsche wrapped up the 2023 IMSA season as runner-up in the manufacturers’ standings. In the drivers’ championship, the regular drivers Jaminet/Tandy and Campbell/Nasr are tied in fourth and fifth positions.

GTD classes: Porsche 911 GT3 R finishes 10-hour race on the podium

In the two GT categories, as well, the final round of the season was packed with suspense from start to finish. In the GTD-Pro class, works driver Kévin Estre fought for victory at the wheel of Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R in the last two hours. In the No. 9 car shared with regular drivers Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Patrick Pilet (France), the Frenchman was only 0.980 seconds shy of victory in second place.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Pfaff Motorsports (#9), Klaus Bachler (A), Patrick Pilet (F), Kevin Estre (F) (l-r), IMSA, Braselton, Race, 2023, Porsche AG
Pfaff Motorsports: Klaus Bachler, Patrick Pilet and Kevin Estre, l-r

In the GTD class, Wright Motorsports’ No. 16 entry seemed to be on track to score second place until the third-to-last lap, only to have an accident followed by a fire throw it out of contention shortly before the finish. Prior to this, the Porsche had already been shunted off the track by another competitor. Also during this phase, the nine-eleven campaigned by the customer team AO Racing dropped out of the top 3. Wright Motorsports’ No. 77 vehicle thus inherited third place just ahead of the customer Porsche of Kellymoss with Riley. At the end of the season, the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart took third place in the manufacturers’ ranking of the GTD class.

Drivers’ comments on the race

Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): “Today wasn’t our day from start to finish. Of course, it was very unlucky to be involved in an accident caused by someone else so early on in the race. This kind of thing happens in racing all the time. As a driver, I always hope that I won’t be affected. But today it hit us. It’s a shame because our car was phenomenal. After the accident, we had to call it quits. Bad days like this make us realise how good other phases of the season were. You can’t always be at the top, there are also bad days. Unfortunately, today was one of them.”

Josef Newgarden (Porsche 963 #7): “Being able to compete at the ‘Petit Le Mans’ with Porsche and the Porsche Penske Motorsport team was an honour and a very special experience. I enjoyed my second stint better than the first, but overall, it was just great. I contested a race in a GTP car for the first time and learned an incredible amount. I’ll take that with me now and use that experience in the future.”

Jenson Button (Porsche 963 #5): “My first IMSA race, my first experience at Road Atlanta and my maiden event in the Porsche 963 - it was huge! I enjoyed every bit of it. I drove a great first stint and pushed myself more and more to the limits. There was a lot to learn about lapping traffic. The second stint was more difficult because the tyres required so many setting changes. Given my three hours of testing in the car, it was a lot of work. It was huge fun getting a chance to compete with the greats of the sport.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 963 #59): “Even though Porsche didn’t win the big trophies today, it was a great day for our team. The Proton team has worked incredibly hard for months. On the morning of race day, we sat down together and said that we wanted to make zero mistakes. If we stay out of trouble, then we automatically advance. That’s exactly what we did. I am very happy for Christian Ried and his entire team.”

Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “It’s a very good result for Pfaff Motorsports and Porsche. Second place is a great result, but victory was within reach. We gave everything over ten hours and fought hard. In the last 90 minutes, I drove at the absolute limit – one qualifying lap after the other. It was very risky. My colleague in the Mercedes in front of me didn’t make a single mistake. I just couldn’t get past. All in all, it’s a good result for the team and for all the drivers to wrap up the year.”

Race result

GTP class:
1. Braun/Blomqvist/Castroneves (USA/UK/USA), Acura #60, 395 laps
2. Van der Zande/Bourdais/Dixon (NL/F/NZ), Cadillac #01, 395 laps
3. Bruni/Tincknell/Jani (I/UK/CH), Porsche 963 #59, 395 laps
4. Campbell/Nasr/Newgarden (AUS/BR/USA), Porsche 963 #7, 395 laps
5. Rockenfeller/van der Helm/Button (D/NL/UK), Porsche 963 #5, 395 laps
10. Tandy/Jaminet/Vanthoor (UK/F/B), Porsche 963 #6, 196 laps

GTD Pro class:
1. Juncadella/Gounon/Engel (E/F/D), Mercedes-AMG #79, 370 laps
2. Bachler/Pilet/Estre (A/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, 370 Run laps
3. Pier Guidi/Serra/Rigon (I/BR/I), Ferrari #62, 370 laps

GTD class:
1. Spinelli/Goikhberg/Liddy (I/CDN/USA), Lamborghini #78, 370 laps
2. Foley/Gallagher/Dinan (USA/USA/USA), BMW #96, 370 laps
3. Brynjolfsson/Hindman/Root (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #77, 370 laps
4. Brule/Udell/Andlauer (USA/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92, 370 laps
8. Hyett/Priaulx/Jeannette (USA/UK/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #80, 370 laps
11. Hardwick/Heylen/Robichon (USA/B/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R #16, 367 laps


The two Porsche 963 fielded by Porsche Penske Motorsport will tackle the “Petit Le Mans” from the midfield. Works drivers Nick Tandy from the UK and Felipe Nasr from Brazil qualified in positions five and seven for the grand season finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The identical hybrid prototypes campaigned by the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition will head into the endurance race from positions nine and ten. In the GTD Pro class, Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R scored fourth place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Stuttgart. The weather conditions added extra suspense to the already gripping competition in the top GTP category. Early in the 20-minute qualifying session, almost all teams opted for Michelin slicks, but more showers thwarted any chance to attempt fast lap times. While Nick Tandy initially waited in the pit lane at the wheel of the No. 6 Porsche 963 and went out for his first flying lap on rain tyres after around five minutes, fellow works driver Felipe Nasr had to return to the pits to change wheels after his first attempts on slicks. 

Nasr and Tandy briefly topped the timesheets

The rain eased for a short time halfway through qualifying, which allowed the racing line to dry out. At this time, Nasr and Tandy briefly topped the timesheets however, under these conditions the soft compound tyres quickly deteriorated. With around five minutes left on the clock, both of the factory-run Porsche 963 came into the pits again for fresh rain tyres. However, in the final bid to set a top time, any decisive improvements proved impossible.

“At first it was dry, then wet, later the track dried again. These were difficult conditions,” concludes Urs Kuratle. The Director Factory Racing LMDh adds: “I’m relaxed about the situation. Our drivers did a good job and we’re starting from the midfield. The race on Saturday runs over ten hours. It’s all about getting the car through the heavy slower traffic and over the whole race distance unscathed. The conditions are unlikely to improve on race day. We have to be in the front pack for the first eight hours. Then we’ll attack at the end.”

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#7), Felipe Nasr (BR), Matt Campbell (AUS), Josef Newgarden (USA), IMSA, Braselton, qualifying, 2023, Porsche AG

“Nick and Felipe did their job very well,” explains Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “I think we made the right calls on our tyre choice. Maybe we came in one lap too early for our last switch to fresh rain tyres. The cars that had only one more lap on those tyres managed to improve at the end – unfortunately, we didn’t. Maybe we could’ve done a bit better. Nevertheless, our starting positions are okay. Our focus is on our performance in the ten-hour race anyway.”

At the wheel of JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Porsche 963, Germany’s Mike Rockenfeller ranked in the top five for a long period but was ultimately unable to make further progress. The No. 5 car run by the American customer squad will tackle the race from position 9. A rule infringement during a pit stop meant that all lap times for Switzerland’s Neel Jani from Proton Competition were scratched. The No. 59 entry starts the race from tenth place.

GTD classes: Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Pfaff Motorsports on P4

In the GTD Pro category, the Porsche 911 GT3 R campaigned by Pfaff Motorsports will tackle the race from the midfield. The Frenchman Patrick Pilet planted the No. 9 car of the Canadian customer team on the fourth grid spot. The two identical ca. 415 kW (565 PS) nine-elevens fielded by Wright Motorsports achieved places 14 and 16 in the GTD class. The bright green No. 80 entry from AO Racing, nicknamed “Rexy”, heads into the race from ninth place. The Kellymoss with Riley squad opted out of participating in the qualifying.

“Petit Le Mans”, the final round of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road Atlanta, gets underway on Saturday, 14 October at 11:40 am local time (5:40 pm CEST). Outside the USA and Canada, the 10-hour race can be viewed in a free live stream on imsa.tv.

Driver’s comments on the qualifying

Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): “That was hard work. Most of the cars started the qualifying on slicks. First, we looked at what was happening out there, then we went out onto the track on rain tyres. Our lap times were okay, but we came into the pits a bit too early to change to a fresh set. When the track was at its best shortly before the end, our rain tyre was already past its best. But, fifth on the inside of the third row of the grid isn’t bad at all.”

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “They were tricky conditions. In the end, we didn’t get the result we were after. Just as I was about to go on the attack with the second set of rain tyres, a lot of other cars came out of the pit lane. Then, in the ‘esses’, I suddenly encountered three slow cars in front of me. Still, it was my best lap time. A lot can happen in a race, especially over ten hours. We have to drive clean laps and work our way up the order systematically.”

Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “It’s disappointing. We went out onto the track with rain tyres, but the racing line dried up immediately. We made the wrong decision there. In a situation like that, it gets really complicated, because the tyres must not be overstressed under any circumstances. My fastest lap time came in the very last lap. I simply couldn’t do more. The race is ten hours long. A lot can happen. Let’s see what we can do.”

Qualifying result

GTP class:
1. Taylor/Albuquerque/Deletraz (USA/P/CH), Acura #10, 1:15.402 minutes
2. Bourdais/van der Zande/Dixon (F/NL/NZ), Cadillac #01, 1:15.632 minutes
3. Eng/Farfus/Wittmann (A/BR/D), BMW #24, 1:15.731 minutes
5. Tandy/Jaminet/Vanthoor (UK/F/B), Porsche 963 #6, 1:16.219 minutes
6. Campbell/Nasr/Newgarden (AUS/BR/USA), Porsche 963 #7, 1:16.860 minutes
9. Rockenfeller/van der Helm/Button (D/NL/UK), Porsche 963 #5, 1:18.204 minutes
10. Bruni/Tincknell/Jani (I/UK/CH), Porsche 963 #59, no lap time

GTD Pro class:
1. Hawksworth/Barnicoat/Kirkwood (UK/UK/USA), Lexus #14, 1:23.168 minutes
2. Garcia/Taylor/Milner (E/USA/USA), Corvette #3, 1:24.099 minutes
3. Juncadella/Gounon/Engel (E/F/D), Mercedes-AMG #79, 1:24.220 minutes
4. Bachler/Pilet/Estre (A/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, 1:24.287 minutes

GTD class:
1. De Angelis/Sörensen/James (CDN/DK/USA), Aston Martin #23, 1:23.116 minutes
2. Frey/Gatting/Pin (CH/DK/F), Lamborghini #83, 1:23.795 minutes
3. Montecalvo/Telitz/Thompson (USA/USA/CDN), Lexus #12, 1:23.847 minutes
9. Hyett/Priaulx/Jeannette (USA/UK/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #80, 1:25.080 minutes
14. Hardwick/Heylen/Robichon (USA/B/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R #16, 1:25.569 minutes
16. Brynjolfsson/Hindman/Root (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #77, 1:26.060 minutes


Porsche Penske Motorsport has a chance to sweep the title pool in the top GTP class at the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The factory squad travels to the 10-hour race at Road Atlanta in the US state of Georgia with its two Porsche 963 as the leaders of the manufacturers’ standings. The two driver crews Jaminet/Tandy and Campbell/Nasr also have a chance of winning the drivers’ championship, with the Porsche Penske Motorsport team within striking distance of clinching the team trophy. At the so-called “Petit Le Mans”, the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition each field a 515+ kW (700 PS) hybrid prototype from Weissach. A total of five Porsche 911 GT3 R cars from experienced partner teams will tackle the two GT classes.

For the nail-biting finale on the spectacular Road Atlanta racetrack, the regular drivers will be joined in the works cockpits by a third driver. Mathieu Jaminet from France and Nick Tandy from the UK share the No. 6 car with Belgian factory driver Laurens Vanthoor. In the No. 7 sister car, Matt Campbell from Australia and Felipe Nasr from Brazil will receive support from the American Josef Newgarden. During summer, Newgarden won the highlight of the North American Indycar racing series, the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske. The trio from Porsche Penske Motorsport prepared for the “Petit Le Mans” with comprehensive test drives.

“Everything is on the line at this season’s last race of the new GTP era. We’d hoped for a finale like this – a dream for the fans and competitors,” says Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “In the last few months, we have made noticeable progress, both in terms of the car and in the processes of our young team. Our recent results have made this obvious. Our last win in Indianapolis gave us another significant boost. We’re heading into ‘Petit Le Mans’ feeling highly motivated and have a very clear goal: We want to celebrate a title in the first year with the Porsche 963!”

Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh, 2023, Porsche AG
Urs Kuratle, Director of Factory Motorsport LMDh

“Our team’s performance has become better and more consistent over the past few months. So, we’ve truly earned the title chances we now have,” says Urs Kuratle, looking ahead to the season finale. The Director of Factory Motorsport LMDh adds: “The competition in the new GTP class has been well-balanced and exciting throughout the entire season. It was always tight at the top. Accordingly, it’s the little things that make the difference between victory and defeat. Our team and drivers prepared meticulously for the finale at Road Atlanta during test drives. We’re ready to fight for the title.”

“The 2023 IMSA season could not come down to a more thrilling finish than what’s on tap for Petit Le Mans, with multiple drivers, teams, and manufacturers fighting to be the first GTP champion in this new era of sports car racing,” comments Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “We’re very proud to have both of our cars in the hunt for the title and we are preparing behind the scenes to do everything we can to compete and race for not only the win but also the GTP title. Obviously, the path is a little bit easier for the No. 6 team: if the crew wins, they take the title. But the No. 7 crew still has an outside chance as well. We’re all looking forward to this race and we hope to secure some championship titles for Porsche and the global Porsche Penske Motorsport team.”

Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport, 2023, Porsche AG
Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport

The ten-hour “Petit Le Mans” race has been a regular fixture on the North American sports car calendar since 1988. The extremely popular event will be contested for the 26th time on the 4.088-kilometre Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The undulating track located about 80 kilometres northeast of Atlanta in the US state of Georgia features twelve turns – including the famous ‘esses’, an ultra-fast, snake-like passage. On the tradition-steeped circuit close to the town of Braselton, weather conditions often play a critical role: autumn can bring hot temperatures and sunshine as well as torrential rain.

Such unpredictable weather handed Porsche its greatest success to date at Road Atlanta. In 2015, Nick Tandy (United Kingdom), Patrick Pilet (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) outpaced the more powerful prototypes in heavy rain to clinch a sensational overall victory in the Porsche 911 RSR. So far it is Porsche’s only outright win at the classic in Georgia. To date, the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer has notched up a total of 24 class wins at the “Petit Le Mans”. The long-distance race over ten hours is part of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, which also includes the events in Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen. For Porsche, the race is significant for another reason: Atlanta is the headquarters of Porsche Cars North America.

The works cars

For the ten-hour race, three drivers will share driving duties in each of the two Porsche 963 fielded by Porsche Penske Motorsport. At the wheel of the No. 6 entry, which recently won in Indianapolis, regular drivers Nick Tandy from Great Britain and Mathieu Jaminet from France take turns with the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor. In the No. 7 sister car, Road America winners Matt Campbell from Australia and Felipe Nasr from Brazil will be joined in the cockpit by Josef Newgarden. As the reigning Indy 500 champion, the American IndyCar driver from Team Penske will be competing in the Porsche 963 for the first time. In preparation, Newgarden completed several tests, including on Road Atlanta.

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Nick Tandy (UK), Mathieu Jaminet (F), 2023, Porsche AG

Ahead of the final race of the 2023 IMSA season, Porsche leads the manufacturers’ standings by a narrow eight-point margin. In the driver and team championships, the two Porsche Penske Motorsport crews rank third and fifth. With a win in Braselton, Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet could take home the title. The gap to the top is only five points. Team colleagues Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell would need support: the pair sits 73 points behind the leaders. Victory at Road Atlanta is rewarded with 350 points, with 35 additional points for pole position.

The customer teams

In the top GTP class, the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition tackle the race with one Porsche 963 each. Germany’s Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm from the Netherlands are joined in the cockpit of the US team’s No. 5 car by the British Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button. Proton Competition’s No. 59 vehicle will be driven by Porsche works driver Gianmaria Bruni from Italy, Englishman Harry Tincknell and Neel Jani from Switzerland.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Pfaff Motorsports (#9), Klaus Bachler (A), Patrick Pilet (F), Kevin Estre (F), 2023, Porsche AG

Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R contests the GTD Pro category. The Canadian customer team’s No. 9 entry is shared by the Austrian Klaus Bachler, Frenchman Patrick Pilet and the French works driver Kévin Estre. The regular duo clinched class victory in Sebring in March with works driver Laurens Vanthoor. In the GTD class, three customers will field a total of four ca. 415 kW (565 PS) GT3 vehicles from Weissach.

Drivers’ comments before the race

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 963 #6): “Given my extensive experience in the IMSA series and my great love for the American racetracks, I really hoped to be taking part here. The fact that I get to compete in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ in the Porsche 963 is a great pleasure for me. On the other hand, the situation as a third driver is always a bit strange. I’ll do my job as well as I can and try to hand over the car to my colleagues Mathieu and Nick in a favourable position. Then, they can drive to the title. That’s the big goal.”

Josef Newgarden (Porsche 963 #7): “I’ve been fortunate enough to get some testing in over the last few weeks behind the wheel of the Porsche 963 and it’s been a blast to drive. My teammates have worked very hard to get me up to speed and to ensure I’m comfortable as we prepare for Petit. I’m absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to drive in the top class at this legendary race and to help Porsche Penske Motorsport have a shot at the championship with both cars. My goal is to drive the car to be best of my abilities, make no mistakes, and hand the Porsche 963 over to my teammates in one piece and in a good position. If we can do that, we’ll be successful.”

Porsche 963, Proton Competition (#59), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Harry Tincknell (UK), 2023, Porsche AG

Neel Jani (Porsche 963 #59): “It’s always wonderful to return to the stage of great success. I’ve already won the ‘Petit Le Mans’ twice and I’m competing there now for the first time since my victory in 2013. It’ll be another big challenge for us drivers and our team, Proton Competition. We’re still in the learning stage and continue to gain new and important insights with every single lap. As always in the IMSA Series races, the same principle applies at Road Atlanta due to the frequent yellow phases: You need to be well positioned in the final hours of the race and have a car that runs perfectly in the dark. I’m really looking forward to my return to this track.”

Klaus Bachler (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “Our chances of winning the title in the GTD Pro class are more of a theoretical exercise, but second place is still definitely within reach. Our Porsche 911 GT3 R was right on the money in the last few races. We’ve always been in a position to fight for class wins. I’m assuming that’ll also be the case at Road Atlanta. For me personally, the track is new territory. I’ve never been there in real life but I’ve gained a heap of knowledge from the simulator. The track is extremely fast; a real spectacle for the fans. The different speeds between the car classes and the ever-looming threat of rain and thunderstorms make it all the more exciting. It’s these factors that could ultimately determine who wins the title.”

Overview of cars and drivers

GTP class (Porsche 963):

JDC-Miller MotorSports #5: Mike Rockenfeller (D) / Tijmen van der Helm (NL) / Jenson Button (UK)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #6: Mathieu Jaminet (F) / Nick Tandy (UK) / Laurens Vanthoor (B)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #7: Matt Campbell (AUS) / Felipe Nasr (BR) / Josef Newgarden (USA)
Proton Competition #59: Gianmaria Bruni (I) / Harry Tincknell (UK) / Neel Jani (CH)

GTD-Pro class (Porsche 911 GT3 R):

Pfaff Motorsports #9: Klaus Bachler (A) / Patrick Pilet (F) / Kévin Estre (F)

GTD class (Porsche 911 GT3 R):

Wright Motorsports #16: Ryan Hardwick (USA) / Jan Heylen (B) / Zacharie Robichon (CDN)
Wright Motorsports #77: Alan Brynjolfsson (USA) / Trent Hindman (USA) / Maxwell Root (USA)
AO Racing #80: PJ Hyett (USA) / Sebastian Priaulx (UK) / Gunnar Jeannette (USA)
Kellymoss with Riley #92: David Brule (USA) / Alec Udell (USA) / Julien Andlauer (F)

The schedule (local time, CEST -6 hours)

Thursday, 12 October

9:50 am – 11:20 am: Free practice 1
2:35 pm – 4:20 pm: Free practice 2
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Free practice 3

Friday, 13 October

3:20 pm – 5:35 pm: Qualifying GTD-Pro/GTD
4:10 pm – 4:30 pm: Qualifying GTP

Saturday, 14 October

8:45 am – 9:05 am: Warmup
11:40 am – 9:40 pm: Race

Related Content