Atlanta. At the previous race in Watkins Glen, Porsche Penske Motorsport put in a strong performance. For the second time this season, a Porsche 963 crossed the finish line in first place. However, a minor deviation during the technical post-race inspection resulted in the team losing its victory in the six-hour race – as well as the lead in the standings. As a result, the highly motivated team travels to the Canadian race next weekend with a score to settle. On the 2.459-mile, 10-turn former Grand Prix circuit outside Toronto, Canada the team wants to contest a flawless 2:40-hour race and reap the rewards for the hard work and consistent progress in the past weeks with a top result.
“Even though we ultimately went home from Watkins Glen empty-handed because of an error, the previous race gave our team an enormous boost,” Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport said. “The performance was there. We made it to the top fair and square, the competition was extremely balanced – that’s how it should be! On this basis, I’m also expecting a strong performance from our Porsche Penske Motorsport works team and the two Porsche 963 entries at the event in Canada. I hope that our partner teams in the GT classes can perform at the same level as their rivals with the 911 GT3 R.”
“After we were denied our second win of the season at Watkins Glen, we’re attacking just as hard in Mosport,” emphasizes Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “The track in Canada is very fluid and ultra-fast. The strengths of our Porsche 963 should come into their own there. In the IMSA series, every manufacturer in the GTP class gets a chance at top positions in every race. With steady, strong performances as well as improved reliability, we want to recoup our second victory as soon as possible.”
“The final result in Watkins Glen was disappointing for us all,” says Jonathan Diuguid, retrospectively. “But now, we must look ahead. The fact is that our team did a fantastic job, the car was strong and the drivers are doing everything to win races. The competition in the IMSA series this year is very exciting, it’s close at every turn. The track at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a favorite among many drivers, plus the course is enormously challenging. We’re expecting another spectacular and open race. Our goal is to win. We want to get back to the top of the standings,” asserts Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Managing Director.
The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, commonly referred to by its previous name, Mosport, was opened in 1961 near Toronto. A total of eight Formula 1 Grands Prix were held there between 1967 and 1977. An IMSA race has been contested here every season since 1999, except for 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The flowing layout with many crests, dips and just ten corners allows a high average speed. Porsche has a long tradition in the Sportscar Grand Prix at this race track. The sports car manufacturer from Weissach, Germany has notched up seven overall victories and 19 class wins. Last year, Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R won the GTD Pro category.
The works drivers
In the GTP class, four regular IMSA drivers helm the two Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team. Mathieu Jaminet from France and Englishman Nick Tandy share driving duties in the No. 6 car. The pair notched up the Porsche 963’s maiden victory on the streets of Long Beach in April and heads to round six of the season ranked third in the championship. The crew of the sister car currently occupy sixth place. Felipe Nasr from Brazil and Matt Campbell from Australia share the No. 7 cockpit.
The customer teams
The Porsche 963 fielded by the customer team JDC-Miller MotorSports tackles the top GTP class for the third time. The experienced German driver Mike Rockenfeller and the 19-year-old Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm share driving duties in the yellow No. 5 hybrid prototype. The squad from Minneapolis put in a strong drive at its debut in Laguna Seca and crossed the finish line in seventh place. At its second outing in Watkins Glen, the team placed fourth.
In the GTD Pro class, Pfaff Motorsports fields one Porsche 911 GT3 R at its home race. The customer team from Canada travels to Bowmanville as the defending champions of the top GT category and last year’s race winners. The No. 9 racer is helmed by Austrian Klaus Bachler and Patrick Pilet from France. The pair won in Sebring and achieved podium finishes in Long Beach and Laguna Seca.
In the GTD category, three customer teams field a total of four ca. 510 HP GT3 cars. The Laguna Seca class winners Kellymoss with Riley fields two vehicles, with Wright Motorsports and AO Racing running one 911 GT3 R each.
Drivers’ comments before the race
Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 No. 6): “We’ve lost our lead in the championship, so we’re not where we want to be. We’re significantly behind but we’re definitely not about to give up. It’s important that we immediately fight back. We haven’t yet done any testing with the Porsche 963 at Mosport so we have to learn quickly and figure out a good setup during the free practices. Our team and drivers need a good result - urgently.”
Matt Campbell (Porsche 963 No. 7): “I’m really looking forward to the race in Mosport this weekend. Last year, we achieved a brilliant GT class win with the Porsche 911 GT3 R with Pfaff Motorsports – that was a fantastic experience. Now, I’m competing there for the first time at the helm of a prototype. The track is fast and fluid. It’s bound to be one of the biggest challenges of the whole year. We drive there at very high speeds and there’s no margin for error. We’re in for a really tough weekend, but at the same time it promises exciting and spectacular motor racing.”
Klaus Bachler (Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 9): “Mosport is the home race for our Pfaff Motorsports team. Of all the tracks I know in America, it is a very special one: extremely fast and mega-challenging. Mosport is one of the few tracks where we’ve been able to test this year. The circuit is great fun. Watkins Glen proved to be a difficult weekend for us. Now we want to compete at the front again in Canada.”
Overview of vehicles and drivers
GTP class (Porsche 963):
JDC-Miller MotorSports No. 5: Mike Rockenfeller (D) / Tijmen van der Helm (NL)
Porsche Penske Motorsport No. 6: Mathieu Jaminet (F) / Nick Tandy (UK)
Porsche Penske Motorsport No. 7: Matt Campbell (AUS) / Felipe Nasr (BR)
GTD-Pro class (Porsche 911 GT3 R):
Pfaff Motorsports No. 9: Klaus Bachler (A) / Patrick Pilet (F)
GTD class (Porsche 911 GT3 R):
Wright Motorsports No. 77: Alan Brynjolfsson (USA) / Trent Hindman (USA)
AO Racing No. 80: PJ Hyett (USA) / Sebastian Priaulx (UK)
Kellymoss with Riley No. 91: Alan Metni (USA) / Kay van Berlo (NL)
Kellymoss with Riley #92: David Brule (USA) / Alec Udell (USA)
The schedule (local time, EDT)
Friday, July 7
2:50 pm – 4:20 pm: Free practice 1
Saturday, July 8
8:00 am – 9:45 am: Free practice 2
12:45 pm – 1:00 pm: Qualifying GTD Pro/GTD
1:35 pm – 1:55 pm: Qualifying GTP
Sunday, July 9
8:15 am – 8:35 am: Warm-up
12:05 pm – 2:45 pm: Race (2:40 hours)
Further information, film and photo material in the Porsche Newsroom: newsroom.porsche.com
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