Commanding lights-to-flag victory for the Porsche 963 at Road America

  • Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr celebrate maiden victory in the IMSA series
  • Porsche Penske Motorsport’s sister car in seventh
  • Solid results for the customer teams’ Porsche 963
  • Podium results out of reach for the partner squads in the GTD classes


Porsche Penske Motorsport celebrates its second win with the Porsche 963. In the race over two hours and 40 minutes at Road America, the No. 7 car brought home a commanding victory. In round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the two works drivers Matt Campbell from Australia and Felipe Nasr from Brazil held the lead from start to finish. The sister car shared by Nick Tandy from Great Britain and Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet was hit by bad luck. After a tire puncture early in the race, the No. 6 car took the flag in seventh place. The customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition put in a strong drive to finish in positions five and eight. In the GT classes, the five Porsche 911 GT3 R again had no chance to claim a podium spot.

The race

Atlanta. Round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin took off with a surprise for the Porsche Penske Motorsport team. Because the pole-sitting Cadillac failed to turn up on the grid in time after an accident during morning warm-up, Matt Campbell inherited the front spot. During his stint, the Australian proved unbeatable. After just three laps, he had increased his advantage at the front to more than four seconds. Campbell then continued to pull clear of his pursuers, stretching the gap to well over ten seconds before handing the car off to his teammate Felipe Nasr. The Brazilian then defended the top spot uncontested to take the flag in first place. In the end, the hybrid prototype from Weissach, Germany crossed the finish line with a 4.635-second lead.

The No. 6 sister car only managed to tap the huge potential of the Porsche 963 in the first half hour. In the early stages, Nick Tandy worked his way through the field to fourth place, only to be struck by a major setback: a puncture in the right rear tire. The UK driver carefully limped back to the pits for an unscheduled stop – which cost him approximately two minutes. With no full course yellows, it proved impossible to close the gap in the action-packed race. Ultimately, Tandy and his teammate Jaminet finished seventh.

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Nick Tandy (UK), Mathieu Jaminet (F), IMSA, Road America, 2023, Porsche AG
No. 6 Porsche 963

“Congratulations to the team and our drivers: That was a flawless team effort,” says a delighted Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “After a difficult first day of practice, we consolidated our efforts to turn things around and tapped the huge potential of the Porsche 963 in qualifying and the race. This was possible thanks to the perfect synergy between the crew at the track and the team back in Weissach. Everyone put in a strong performance. The pace of our number 6 was great too. Unfortunately, a puncture destroyed all hopes – that’s how it goes in motor racing sometimes. I take my hat off to our customer teams in the GTP class, who put in a clean performance and fast lap times here.”

“Everyone did an excellent job,” states Jonathan Diuguid. The Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport adds: “We didn't have the pace on Friday, but we saw today that the team worked together to perform well in the race. Both cars had great pace. Unfortunately, our number 6 entry lost positions due to a puncture early in the race, but at least it managed to get back into the same lap as the leader. Matt and Felipe did a perfect job in the No. 7 car – and that effort earned us our victory. Now we've won one race each with both cars. That’s fantastic. We also closed the gap in the manufacturers’ championship.”

Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport, IMSA, Road America, 2023, Porsche AG
Thomas Laudenbach

In the manufacturers’ standings, Porsche has advanced to third place. With two more races remaining, the gap to the top is only 47 points. In the drivers’ championship, Tandy/Jaminet and Campbell/Nasr rank fourth and seventh respectively and still have an outside chance of winning the title.

The two Porsche 963 racing cars fielded by customer teams delivered strong drives. Germany’s Mike Rockenfeller and his Dutch teammate Tijmen van der Helm set an impressive pace at times in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports car, matching the pace of the factory squad. The car decked out in its bright yellow livery concluded the race in fifth place overall. The identical GTP model campaigned by Proton Competition finished its IMSA series debut in eighth with works driver Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and Englishman Harry Tincknell.

GTD Classes: Porsche customer teams finish towards the back of the field

The customer teams in the two GT classes had no chance to fight for the podium. In the GTD Pro category, Pfaff Motorsport’s 911 GT3 R piloted by Austrian Klaus Bachler and Frenchman Patrick Pilet finished fourth. In the GTD class, the identical 911s from Wright Motorsports, AO Racing and Kellymoss with Riley finished ninth, eleventh, 13th and 14th.

911 GT3 R, Pfaff Motorsports (#9), Klaus Bachler (A), Patrick Pilet (F), IMSA, Road America, 2023, Porsche AG
911 GT3 R (Pfaff Motorsports)

The next GTP round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be contested on September 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The American racing series will make its maiden outing at “The Brickyard” – which is a combination of the oval outer track and an infield course.

Drivers’ comments on the race

Matt Campbell (No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963): “For us, it was of course a big advantage that we were allowed to start from pole position after the Cadillac had an accident in the warm-up. On this track, it makes a huge difference which side of the grid you start on. There’s a lot of dirt off the racing line, but fortunately, we managed to avoid this and turned considerably faster opening laps than our pursuers. Our Porsche 963 was really great to drive in the race – that was somewhat of a surprise after our difficulties on Friday, which makes our performance all the better. I’m thrilled about our first victory with the number 7 car in the IMSA series.”

Felipe Nasr (No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963): “Thank you to the whole team! It was an outstanding effort from everyone. Matt put in a strong first stint and positioned our car solidly at the front of the field. I gave everything at the end to defend that position. It was anything but easy because the Acura in second place had fresher tires. On top of that, the situations with passing slower cars were often extremely tricky. But it all worked out – finally!”

Mike Rockenfeller (No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963): “We started from ninth place and finished in fifth – we can live with that. Our race pace was really strong. I had some tough battles during my stint and didn’t always agree with the decisions of some of my colleagues, at some points, things got really tough. It was difficult to stay calm in the car at all times. On the other hand, of course, it was a joy to be able to fight at this level in the top class.”

Mike Rockenfeller (D), JDC-Miller MotorSports, IMSA, Road America, 2023, Porsche AG
Mike Rockenfeller

Harry Tincknell (No. 59 Proton Competition Porsche 963): “After only being able to turn very few laps in the race at our WEC event in Monza, things finally went better here. I learned more about the car today than on all the previous days combined. The basis of the Porsche 963 is extremely good – we’re only a little behind in terms of the setup because the time for making adjustments and gaining experience was too short. Now, we’ll analyze all the data and draw our conclusions. If we were to do another race tomorrow, we would be considerably faster – without a doubt.”

Patrick Pilet (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We always give everything, push to the absolute limit, but under these conditions, we had no chance. We’re lacking top speed and the power to accelerate out of the corners fast enough. That’s very frustrating. As a team, we delivered an absolutely flawless performance. So that wasn’t the reason. Now, I’m looking forward to a few days off. Hopefully, in Indianapolis, we’ll have found our rhythm.”

Race results

GTP class:
1. Campbell/Nasr (Australia/Brazil), Porsche 963 No. 7, 80 laps
2. Blomqvist/Braun (UK/USA), Acura No. 60, 80 laps
3. Taylor/Albuquerque (USA/Portugal), Acura No. 10, 80 laps
5. Rockenfeller/van der Helm (Germany/Netherlands), Porsche 963 No. 5, 80 laps
7. Tandy/Jaminet (UK/France), Porsche 963 No. 6, 80 laps 
8. Bruni/Tincknell (Italy/UK), Porsche 963 No. 59, 80 laps

GTD-Pro class:
1. Gunn/Riberas (UK/Spain, Aston Martin No. 23, 73 laps
2. Hawksworth/Barnicoat (UK/UK), Lexus No. 14, 72 laps
3. Garcia/Taylor (Spain/USA), Corvette No. 3, 72 laps
4. Bachler/Pilet (Austria/France), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 9, 72 laps

GTD class:
1. Sellers/Snow (USA/USA), BMW No. 1, 72 laps
2. Iribe/Schandorff (USA/Denmark), McLaren No. 70, 72 laps
3. Skeen/Grenier (USA/Canada), Mercedes-AMG No. 32, 72 laps
9. Metni/van Berlo (USA/Netherlands), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 91, 72 laps
11. Hyett/Priaulx (USA/UK), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 80, 72 laps
12. Brule/Udell (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 92, 71 laps
14. Brynjolfsson/Hindman (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 77, 70 laps

All results:

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