Porsche 963 of Porsche Penske Motorsport victorious after gripping finale

The No. 7 Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team has won the 24 Hours of Daytona. Works drivers Felipe Nasr from Brazil, Dane Cameron from the USA and Matt Campbell from Australia as well as American IndyCar star Josef Newgarden extended Porsche’s record number of victories to 19. The No. 6 sister car finished fourth with works drivers Mathieu Jaminet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Kévin Estre (France). The Porsche 963 campaigned by the formidable customer teams Proton Competition and JDC-Miller MotorSports followed directly behind. In the GTD Pro class, AO Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 R secured second place.

In an action-packed race witnessed by a record crowd, the two Porsche Penske Motorsport’s 519 kW (706 PS) Porsche 963 traded places at the front of the field with the No. 31 Cadillac. Shortly after sunset on Saturday evening, the No. 6 car took the lead for the first time. However, several penalties kept throwing the car shared by Jaminet/Tandy/Vanthoor/Estre back down the field. Kévin Estre’s small slip in the pit lane exit on Sunday morning dampened the hopes of victory for this hybrid prototype.

In a nail-biting race between the manufacturers in the top GTP class, the last of 15 caution phases pushed the suspense to the edge: in a 32-minute duel, the final battle to glory went down to the wire between Felipe Nasr in the No. 7 car Porsche and Briton Tom Blomqvist at the wheel of the Cadillac. In the last sprint, the Brazilian struggled with deteriorating tyres but successfully fended off his rival’s attacks. To the surprise of the spectators, the chequered flag came out around 1:30 minutes before the end of the race. Porsche’s first overall win since 2003 and the sports car manufacturer’s 19th victory at Daytona was safely in the bag.

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Mathieu Jaminet (F), Nick Tandy (UK), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Kevin Estre (F), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG

"What a fantastic win to start the year,” says a delighted Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Development at Porsche. “The entire Porsche Penske Motorsport works team and everyone at the development centre in Weissach have worked extremely hard to lay the foundations for this success. My sincere thanks to all of our employees. We never gave up and didn’t let the tough setbacks from last year rock us. Now, we’re reaping the rewards of our hard work. In the final phase, the duel on the track made the unrivalled passion obvious. Nobody gave up, nobody backed off until the chequered flag. I found that absolutely thrilling, as I’m sure it did many motorsport fans around the world.”

“It’s difficult to put the emotions into words. We won the 2024 Daytona – amazing," says a delighted Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “I’ve never experienced such a heart-stopping battle. We won one of the really big races today. Our package worked. Four Porsche 963, two from Porsche Penske Motorsport and two from our strong customer teams, made it through without any major technical problems – that’s quite a feat in itself. This was only possible thanks to the incredible work of everyone involved. Thank you so much! Second place for the Porsche 911 GT3 R from AO Racing in the GTD Pro class is also absolutely fantastic. Daytona was definitely worth the trip for us.”

“An amazing day for the entire Porsche Penske Motorsport organisation,” said Roger Penske, Founder and Chairman of the Penske Corporation. “Both of our Porsches had great speed but more importantly, the reliability and the execution by our team allowed us to secure the overall win for the first time since 1969. Congratulations to the entire Porsche and Penske organisation on this monumental victory.”

Strong results from customer teams in the top GTP class and GTD-Pro class

Finishing fifth and sixth, the two Porsche 963 fielded by the Proton Competition and JDC-Miller MotorSports customer teams rounded off the banner result in the top GTP class. At times, both race cars were even on course for the podium. The seasoned drivers and the youngsters at the wheel of No. 5 and 85 cars put in commanding drives with blistering lap times and clean performances.

In the GTD Pro category, AO Racing secured the second podium step with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. At the wheel of the No. 77 “Rexy” race car, works driver Michael Christensen from Denmark, former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany and Sebastian Priaulx from the UK drove a flawless race – as did the entire customer outfit from the USA. “This year’s 24-hour race once again underlined that you have to fight to the end. AO Racing kept its cool during its debut race in the GTD Pro class and secured a terrific result with second place,” commented Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. “All of the cars reached the finish line. Wright Motorsports managed to finish seventh in this gruelling race and highly competitive field. That was obviously the maximum.” The identical 911 campaigned by Andretti Motorsports, Kellymoss with Riley and MDK Motorsports finished the race in ninth, eleventh and twelfth place.

Porsche kicks off the new IMSA season at the top of the table

With this win in the prestigious classic in Florida, Porsche has taken the lead in the manufacturers’ championship. After the season opener, the victorious drivers of the #7 car are also at the top the drivers’ leaderboard. Round two of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is set to be another highlight: the traditional 12 Hours of Sebring will take place on 16 March. The endurance race also counts as the second round in the Michelin Endurance Cup.

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#7), Dane Cameron (USA), Felipe Nasr (BR), Josef Newgarden (USA), Matt Campbell (AUS), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG

Drivers’ comments after the race

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “Wow! Right after crossing the finish line, I had to take a moment and let it all sink in. To have the decision in a 24-hour race come down to the very last few metres in a head-to-head duel – unbelievable. The Cadillac was very strong, especially in the final phase as temperatures rose. We gave everything tactically and driving-wise to take this victory. It worked. I’m super proud of everyone in the team.”

Matt Campbell (Porsche 963 #7): “We won the 24-hour race at Daytona – that’s just phenomenal! I can’t thank my colleagues Josef, Felipe and Dane enough. The team as a whole was simply perfect. We had an absolutely crazy battle with the Cadillac. It was back and forth over the entire distance. It was intense, exciting and exhausting. Now, it’s time to celebrate our success.”

Dane Cameron (Porsche 963 #7): “A fantastic day for us all. The Porsche 963 was extremely strong in today’s race and showed that we’ve made the necessary progress in terms of reliability over the winter. I’m proud of everyone who enabled us to achieve this. Our team simply worked flawlessly. This is the first victory for the 963 in one of the really big races, and my first overall victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona – it couldn’t be better.”

Josef Newgarden (Porsche 963 #7): “I’m over the moon and extremely proud. We had an outstanding car. The combination of Porsche and Team Penske was the perfect package. A massive thanks to everyone who helped us on the way to this huge success. A 24-hour race like this requires months of intensive preparation. I think we deserved to win. It’s a perfect start to the year. I wish the team a super successful season.”

Alessio Picariello (Porsche 963 #5): “I’m completely exhausted, but also relieved and delighted. It’s been a very intense weekend, and I learned an incredible amount. On top of that, I still had a fever on Friday. It doesn’t matter: when I got in the car, the adrenaline took over. I didn’t make any mistakes, kept our number 5 on course and so I’m satisfied with my performance.”

Richard Westbrook (Porsche 963 #85): “There are plenty of positives. On the one hand, we’re all thrilled to have the first 24-hour race with the Porsche 963 behind us and to have scored lots of points in the process. The fact that we made it over the distance so well is also due to the great kit and the good support we received from Porsche. Unfortunately, a few minor things set us back a bit at the very end. Now, I’m looking forward to Sebring like a kid on the way to the candy shop.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “I’m very pleased. Despite having started the race from pole position, second place was the best result we could achieve in this competition. We knew after the first hour that we weren’t quite fast enough. We had to drive perfectly, deliver flawless pitstops and choose the best strategy. That’s exactly what we managed to do over the entire distance and we all put in a first-class performance.”

Race result

GTP class:
1. Cameron/Nasr/Campbell/Newgarden (USA/BR/AUS/USA), Porsche 963 #7, 791 laps
2. Derani/Aitken/Blomqvist (BR/UK/UK), Cadillac #31, -2.112 s
3. Taylor/Deletraz/Herta/Button (USA/CH/USA/UK), Acura ARX-06 #40, -14.989 s
4. Tandy/Jaminet/Estre/Vanthoor (UK/F/F/B), Porsche 963 #6, -15.387 s
5. Bruni/Jani/Picariello/Dumas (I/CH/B/F), Porsche 963 #5, -44.479 s
6. Van der Helm/Westbrook/Hanson/Keating (NL/UK/UK/USA), Porsche 963 #85, - 2 laps

GTD-Pro class:
1. Serra/Rigon/Pier Guidi/Calado (BR/I/I/UK), Ferrari 293 GT3 #62, 733 laps
2. Heinrich/Priaulx/Christensen (D/UK/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R #77, -34.999 s
3. Sellers/Snow/Verhagen/van der Linde (USA/USA/USA/RSA), BMW M4 GT3 #1, -2 laps

GTD class:
1. Ward/Ellis/Dontje/Morad (USA/UK/NL/CAN), Mercedes AMG GT3 #57, 731 laps
7. Adelson/Skeer/Heylen/Makowiecki (USA/USA/B/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #120, -1 laps
9. Andretti/Chavez/Hargrove/Preining (USA/USA/CDN/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #43, -3 laps
11. Brule/Udell/Hindman/Andlauer (USA/USA/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92, -12 laps
12. Li/Fjordbach/Ten Voorde/Bachler (CHN/DK/NL/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #86, -13 laps

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Wright Motorsports (#120), Adam Adelson (USA), Elliott Skeer (USA), Jan Heylen (B), Frederic Makowiecki (F), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG

Interim report 2

The aspirants for overall victory in the endurance classic at Daytona were radically diminished during the 13-hour night. After three-quarters of the race distance, only six of the ten hybrid prototypes that had started in the GTP class still had realistic chances of claiming a top position at around 7:40 am – including all four Porsche 963. After 584 laps on the 5.730-kilometre combination of high-speed oval and infield track, the #6 contender moved up to first place. However, after official sensors detected an energy usage infringement, the vehicle was handed a ten-second penalty shortly afterwards. As a result, the car dropped back to fifth position. The cockpit of the 519 kW (706 PS) race car fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team is shared by Nick Tandy from Great Britain, the two Frenchmen Mathieu Jaminet and Kévin Estre as well as Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium. The sister car driven by Brazilian Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell from Australia and the two Americans Dane Cameron and Josef Newgarden shuffled up to second place as a result. A short time later, the #7 took the lead. Like the identical Porsche 963 campaigned by the two customer teams, they made it safely through the night without any major problems in mild air and tarmac temperatures of just over 20 degrees Celsius.

With six hours of racing to go, Proton Competition’s 963 was running in fourth place with drivers Neel Jani from Switzerland, Alessio Picariello from Belgium and the two works drivers Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Romain Dumas (France). JDC-Miller MotorSports’ race car defended its sixth spot. British drivers Richard Westbrook and Phil Hanson share the wheel with Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm and Ben Keating from the USA.

“Things are looking good for us. Six hours before the flag, the strategies of the top cars in the GTP class have pretty much aligned,” explains Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “We now have to keep our cool to the finish line. All four Porsche 963 are running virtually without any technical problems.”

GT classes: All five Porsche 911 GT3 R still in the race after 18 hours

In the GTD Pro class, AO Racing’s 911 GT3 R has put in solid drives throughout the night. Depending on the pit stop rhythm, the ca. 415 kW (565 PS) GT3 race car shared by UK driver Sebastian Priaulx, former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany and Danish Porsche works driver Michael Christensen alternated between a podium finish and fifth place. After 16 of 24 hours, the #77, fondly dubbed “Rexy”, was still within reach of the leaders – keeping the chance of a top result open.

The four Porsche contesting the GTD category are also still in the race. Wright Motorsports’ 911 GT3 R occupied seventh in its class, in which professionals share the cockpit with so-called gentlemen drivers. The entries from Andretti Motorsports, Kellymoss with Riley and MDK Motorsports followed in positions ten, twelve and 13.

The 24 Hours of Daytona finishes today, Sunday, at 1:40 pm local time (7:40 pm CET).

 

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Andretti Motorsports (#43), Jarett Andretti (USA), Gabby Chaves (COL), Scott Hargrove (CDN), Thomas Preining (A), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG
Andretti Motorsports, Jarett Andretti, Gabby Chaves, Scott Hargrove, Thomas Preining

Drivers’ comments on the race so far

Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): “In the last few hours of the night before sunrise, the asphalt temperatures were very low – that significantly helped the car, the tyres and also the crew in the pit lane. Driving in these conditions is a lot of fun. We’re within striking distance of the top and competitive. Let’s see what the last six hours of the race bring.”

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “We looking pretty good with our #7 Porsche, even though we switched to an alternative tactic compared to the sister car and ran the tyres over double stints. A lot of other cars were running on fresh tyres at the same time. We also did a good job with the refuelling strategy and can now really attack until the end. I think we’re well-positioned. If we stay focussed and avoid making any mistakes, we could end up with a good result.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 963 #5): “We experienced a few hiccups at one point and lost a lap as a result. We managed to catch up again in the early hours of the morning, which was important. Now everything is running more smoothly. This race is almost like a test for us – everyone else tested here in December, we’ve never driven here. Alessio Picariello and Romain Dumas climbed into the car for the first time so we’re learning lap by lap.”

Phil Hanson (Porsche 963 #85): “We used the softer tyre compound in my first stint, which was helpful. Now we want to continue to the end with single stints, which is good for our performance, especially in the second sector of the track. We’re running in the same lap as the leaders with six hours to go and still have every chance. Perhaps the final sprint will turn turbulent, which will benefit us.”

Laurin Heinrich (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “I drove the stint from night into daytime, which is always very nice. During my double stint, we changed the brakes as planned, but at an unfavourable time. As a result, we lost a lap. Maybe we’ll be lucky and make up the lap during a caution phase. Because the hydration system in the car failed, we had to switch from triple to double stints. We’re hoping for a decent final sprint.”

Interim report 1

Watched by record crowds, the race got underway at 1:40 pm local time under scattered clouds and in summery temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius. Immediately after the green flag dropped on the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Felipe Nasr gave an impressive demonstration of Porsche Penske Motorsport’s big ambitions. The Brazilian catapulted the 519 kW (706 PS) #7 Porsche 963 from third place to second and set his sights on catching the leader of the 24-hour race. Right behind him, Nick Tandy systematically worked his way through the field in the second LMDh prototype of the Porsche works team. “That was super interesting and entertaining,” commented the Briton after his two stints and his push to fourth place.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, MDK Motorsports (#86), Anders Fjordbach (DK), Kerong Li (CHN), Klaus Bachler (A), Larry ten Voorde (NL), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG
Porsche 911 GT3 R, MDK Motorsports, Anders Fjordbach, Kerong Li, Klaus Bachler, Larry ten Voorde

After around two hours of racing, Nasr handed his car to American Dane Cameron, while Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet took the wheel of the #6 car from Tandy. Shortly before sunset in Daytona, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Matt Campbell (Australia) climbed into the two Weissach racers. “All four Porsche 963 from the factory team and the customer squads are going strong so far. We’re on the same lap as the leaders. That’s precisely the goal,” says Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “Now we’re heading into the night. That should suit us because the air and tarmac temperatures are dropping. We have to continue our present course: we have the right tactics, our drivers are fast and the team is working flawlessly.”

Proton Competition and JDC-Miller MotorSports step into the spotlight

The Porsche 963 customer teams fielded by Proton Competition and JDC-Miller MotorSports made an impressive showing in the first few hours of racing. Richard Westbrook in particular shone behind the wheel of the American team’s #85 car. At one stage, the Briton even went head-to-head with works driver Nick Tandy. After their two stints, the two Englishmen reported an “intense duel”. American amateur driver Ben Keating brought the bright yellow Porsche 963 safely through his first race laps, while Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm progressed to fifth place by nightfall. The identical prototype fielded by Proton Competition initially clocked strong lap times with Le Mans winner Neel Jani (Switzerland) and then with Italian works driver Gianmaria Bruni in the cockpit. After four hours, the #5 car was in ninth position.

Porsche 963, JDC-Miller MotorSports (#85), Tijmen van der Helm (NL), Richard Westbrook (UK), Phil Hanson (UK), Ben Keating (USA), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG
JDC-Miller MotorSports, Tijmen van der Helm, Richard Westbrook, Phil Hanson, Ben Keating

GT classes: All five Porsche 911 GT3 R look promising

In the two GT categories, the five customer teams brought their Porsche 911 GT3 R producing up to 415 kW (565 PS) safely through the occasionally turbulent start phase. AO Racing’s #77 race car, affectionately known as “Rexy”, is running in fourth place in the GTD Pro category after four hours despite being handed a drive-through penalty. Works driver Michael Christensen from Denmark shares the cockpit of the green nine-eleven with former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany and Sebastian Priaulx from Great Britain. The technically identical GT3 cars from Wright Motorsports, Kellymoss with Riley, Andretti Motorsports and MDK Motorsports are holding their own in the midfield of the GTD class.

Drivers’ comments after the initial phase

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): “Early on, our focus was on getting the tyres to cover as much ground as possible in the high temperatures. In the latter half of my double stint, I was constantly losing traction. I got through it without any collisions or mishaps. We’re consistently hovering around the midfield of the GTP class. There are all sorts of different race strategies at play, so it’s impossible to predict the result right up until the very finish.”

Dane Cameron (Porsche 963 #7): “That was tough. Our tyres deteriorated pretty rapidly with the high track temperatures. We’re managing to really attack over a certain distance and set strong lap times. Now, we’re saving as many fresh sets of tyres as possible for the final hours of the race so that we can call on absolute maximum performance – it isn’t until the end that it really comes down to the wire.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 963 #5): “We had an issue with our seatbelt system which we managed to fix during the pit stop. Apart from that, our Porsche 963 is running like a dream. We aren’t the fastest, but we’re putting down consistent lap times. The lapped traffic was really wild at times. There were some tricky situations, but we survived them without any damage – all is well.”

Ben Keating (Porsche 963 #85): “I drove for about two and a half hours straight and had an absolute blast! I still need to get some more tracktime in the Porsche 963. There are so many things to consider in a GTP car – it’s certainly equal parts scary and fun for somebody like me. And please don’t forget that I’m the only amateur driving in the top class. Nobody expects me to set absolute top times. It’s just about getting the car through my stints unscathed. I managed to do that.”

Qualifying

Under cloudy skies and in cool temperatures, the conditions at the Daytona International Speedway were ideal for a nail-biting qualifying day. The 15-minute qualifying session for the top GTP class concluded without incident. As tyre temperatures rose, the LMDh cars picked up the pace and broke the previous Daytona lap record for prototypes. During his eight laps out on the track, works driver Felipe Nasr continued to improve. Clocking 1:32.876 minutes in the No. 7 Porsche 963, the Brazilian secured the third grid spot. Le Mans winner Nick Tandy was unable to improve in the decisive final lap and had to settle for seventh place at the wheel of the No. 6 car.

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Mathieu Jaminet (F), Nick Tandy (UK), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Kevin Estre (F), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Qualifying, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG
Porsche Penske Motorsport

“We would’ve loved to have secured pole position, but unfortunately that didn’t quite work out. Congratulations to Cadillac. Their crew simply did it better,” comments Urs Kuratle, Director of Factory Racing LMDh. “We didn’t make any mistakes. All teams were very close together. I think we have a decent grid position for the race. After all, the event runs over 24 hours, so anything is possible. The forecast for the race weekend is for warmer temperatures. We’re ready for this and so we’re feeling optimistic for the season opener.”

“The drivers in our two Porsche 963 did a great job, and so did the entire crew. Felipe turned the third quickest time,” summarises Jonathan Diuguid. The Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport adds: “Even though the sister car is only seventh on the grid, I’m confident that we managed to achieve a good starting position. The drivers are very happy with the car’s handling in race trim. So I’m feeling positive about the 24-hour event.”

Proton Competition and JDC-Miller MotorSports achieve a solid result

Heading into the new IMSA season, luck eluded the Porsche 963 customer teams on Sunday. Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm concluded the qualifying session in ninth place at the wheel of the JDC-Miller MotorSports car. The identical Proton Competition car remained in the garage during the session: Swiss driver Neel Jani was involved in an accident during a brief test session before qualifying. The repairs needed prevented him from taking part in the qualifying session. 

Porsche 963, JDC-Miller MotorSports (#85), Tijmen van der Helm (NL), Richard Westbrook (UK), Phil Hanson (UK), Ben Keating (USA), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Qualifying, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG
JDC-Miller MotorSports

GT classes: Pole position and P2 for the Porsche 911 GT3 R

In the two GT categories, the 911 GT3 R put in impressive qualifying performances. UK driver Sebastian Priaulx set the fastest lap time in the GTD Pro class with a time of 1:44.382 minutes. AO Racing’s 911, dubbed “Rexy” due to its bright green dinosaur livery, tackles the 24-hour race from pole position. In the GTD category, Klaus Bachler lines up on the grid in second place in the Porsche fielded by the customer team MDK Motorsports. The Austrian was just 0.043 seconds off pole position. The identical 911 GT3 R fielded by Andretti Motorsports and Wright Motorsports wrapped up the qualifying session in twelfth and 19th respectively. American David Brule had an accident at the wheel of Kellymoss with Riley’s No. 92 car on the warm-up lap. As a result, the American team has to start the race from the back of the field.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, MDK Motorsports (#86), Anders Fjordbach (DK), Kerong Li (CHN), Klaus Bachler (A), Larry ten Voorde (NL), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Race 1, Qualifying, Daytona, 2024, Porsche AG
MDK Motorsports

Four more practice sessions before the endurance classic kicks off

Next Thursday and Friday (25/26 January), four more practice sessions are scheduled for the teams and their 59 cars. The 62nd running of the 24 Hours of Daytona starts on Saturday (27 January) at 1:40 pm local time (7:40 pm CET). The opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is part of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, which also includes the endurance races at Sebring, Watkins Glen, Indianapolis and the “Petit Le Mans” at Road Atlanta.

Drivers’ comments after the qualifying

Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): “Cadillac was incredibly strong, which surprised me a little. Still, we want to win the race – not the qualifying. In Daytona, it’s all about being the fastest in the final and decisive phase next Sunday. We’re contesting an endurance race here, and the focus is always on reaching the finish. Our cars are running flawlessly. We’ve worked hard over the winter and we’re seeing the results. I’m heading into the upcoming race week feeling good.”

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “Third place is okay. I got everything I could out of our car today. The crew did a great job. I’m totally convinced that we’re contesting the race with a strong package. We’ll continue to focus on working on consistency over long distances in the upcoming practice sessions starting on Thursday. We need to be perfectly prepared to be in the fight for victory next weekend.”

Tijmen van der Helm (Porsche 963 #85): “We’re closer to the other teams compared to last year, so we’ve made progress, even though we still have a long way to go. Today was the qualifying for an endurance race. We’re facing a 24-hour event, so the grid spot doesn’t really matter. The main thing is that we keep up with the others. That’s what makes an exciting and good competition. If we reach the flag without any incidents, we should be able to achieve something good.”

Sebastian Priaulx (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “Well, that was unexpected! I gave everything I had and ended up on pole. Today was my day! Everything ran perfectly. Now we have a long race ahead of us. We shouldn’t let the grid position distract us from the big challenge next weekend. Still, it’s always nice when you can go into an important race week with a good feeling and on the wave of success. I’m thrilled.”

Klaus Bachler (Porsche 911 GT3 R #86): “That was a great qualifying. Many thanks to the team – this is my first time working with them. Now we can continue to prepare systematically for the race. Although we still need to tick off a few things on our list, second place in qualifying shows that our Porsche is already fast – at least in cool temperatures. Now we have to make sure that this continues in the hotter temperatures next weekend. It’ll be a long race with many challenges and a lot of strategy. We aim to be in the fight for the class win.” 

Qualifying result

GTP class:
1. Derani/Aitken/Blomqvist (BR/UK/UK), Cadillac #31, 1:32.656 minutes
2. Van der Zande/Bourdais/Dixon/Palou (NL/F/NZ/E), Cadillac #01, 1:32.727 minutes
3. Cameron/Nasr/Campbell/Newgarden (USA/BR/AUS/USA), Porsche 963 #7, 1:32.876 minutes
7. Tandy/Jaminet/Estre/Vanthoor (UK/F/F/B), Porsche 963 #6, 1:33.381 minutes
9. Van der Helm/Westbrook/Hanson/Keating (NL/UK/UK/USA), Porsche 963 #85, 1:33.506 minutes
10. Bruni/Jani/Picariello/Dumas (I/CH/B/F), Porsche 963 #5, no lap time

GTD-Pro class:
1. Heinrich/Priaulx/Christensen (D/UK/DK), Porsche 911 GT3 R #77, 1:44.382 minutes
2. Hawksworth/Barnicoat/Kirkwood/Conway (UK/UK/USA/UK), Lexus #14, 1:44.462 minutes
3. Garcia/Sims/Juncadella (E/UK/E), Corvette #3, 1:44.786 minutes

GTD class:
1. Montecalvo/Thompson/Telitz/Miyata (USA/CDN/USA/J), Lexus #12, 1:44.494 minutes
2. Li/Fjordbach/Ten Voorde/Bachler (CHN/DK/NL/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #86, 1:44.537 minutes
3. Monk/Legge/Calderon/McAleer (USA/UK/COL/UK), Acura #66, 1:44.640 minutes
12. Andretti/Chavez/Hargrove/Preining (USA/USA/CDN/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #43, 1:45.115 minutes
19. Adelson/Skeer/Heylen/Makowiecki (USA/USA/B/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #120, 1:45.983 minutes
23. Brule/Udell/Hindman/Andlauer (USA/USA/USA/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #92, no lap time

Full results at https://imsa.alkamelsystems.com.

Preview

Porsche Penske Motorsport has set its sights on overall victory at the upcoming 24 Hours of Daytona. At the opening round of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the works team competes with two Porsche 963 and a top driver line-up. The hybrid prototype from Weissach heads into the new season with several improvements. Two other Porsche 963 fielded by the customer teams JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition also take on the competition in the top GTP category. In the two GT classes, a total of five customer squads compete for honours with one Porsche 911 GT3 R each.

Porsche will field the 963 for the second time at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Porsche Penske Motorsport factory squad has turned the insights gained from the race car’s debut year into further improvements and now travels with confidence to the season opener of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on 27/28 January. At the endurance classic in Florida, four works drivers each helm the two hybrid racers. The goal is clear: As the Daytona record-holder, Porsche is determined to bring home its 19th outright victory. 

“Based on our findings from last year’s outings in the IMSA series, the FIA WEC, and our test sessions, we’ve further optimised both the car and the team’s processes for the new season,” explains Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “We’re confident that we’ll be considerably better prepared for the classic at Daytona this year. In 2023, we narrowly missed out on the title in North America. That shouldn’t happen this year. Our bid for the championship crown will hopefully begin with a strong race at Daytona.” 

Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport, 2024, Porsche AG
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport

“The endurance races were our Achilles heel last year,” reflects Urs Kuratle. The Director Factory Motorsport LMDh adds: “We took a very close look at the issue of reliability and implemented appropriate measures. I’m confident that we have everything ironed out for the upcoming season. Our most recent test drives were almost entirely focussed on endurance runs. We covered many kilometres with excellent results. We’ve also made further progress with some of the team’s processes. I’m looking forward to the season opener in Daytona feeling very confident.”

Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh, 2024, Porsche AG
Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh

“Stepping into a new season as a team always brings a mix of anticipation and trepidation. The clean scoreboard puts all manufacturers on the starting line together and the upcoming season rests in our hands,” comments Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “On the flip side however, we’re all aware that the off-season is when championships are really won. Until the green flag falls at the start of the race, we don’t really know how we stack up against our competitors. I am confident and proud of the efforts our team has made over the off-season to ensure we are prepared for the challenge that the Daytona 24 Hours presents. In 2023, we scored three victories, two pole positions and four further podium results – but there were certainly some areas of improvement. We’ve made some operational changes and worked on improving the car, and we saw the benefits of these adjustments at our recent test sessions. The reality is that we go to the 24 Hours of Daytona to win and, to do so, we need to be near-perfect. In season two there are no excuses for being anything less.”

Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport, 2024, Porsche AG
Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport

The race

The Daytona International Speedway in Florida, which opened in 1959, distinguishes itself from other tracks most notably by its steeply banked turns. The slope incline reaches up to 31 degrees in the oval passages of the 5.73-kilometre racetrack. This requires a special vehicle setup. With 18 overall wins as a constructor and four as an engine partner, Porsche is by far the most successful manufacturer at Daytona. A further 80 class wins round off this impressive scorecard. The classic event has been contested on the combination of the tri-oval and the infield road course since 1966. 

Traditionally, the event on the East Coast of America starts with the so-called “Roar Before the 24”. As part of the three-day tests before the new IMSA season gets underway, participants will qualify for the 24-hour race. The 24 Hours of Daytona also marks the start of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup. This long-distance classification awards points for the best-placed vehicles after six, twelve and 18 hours as well as for crossing the finish line. In addition to the season-opening round in Florida, the championship includes the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 6-hour races at Watkins Glen and Indianapolis as well as the so-called “Petit Le Mans”. The IMSA season wraps up in October with this ten-hour race on the Road Atlanta circuit.

Porsche 963, Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Mathieu Jamiet (F), Nick Tandy (UK), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Kevin Estre (F), 2024, Porsche AG

The works cars

Four factory drivers will crew each of Porsche Penske Motorsport’s two Porsche 963. UK driver Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet from France share the No. 6 cockpit with Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium and the Frenchman Kévin Estre. In the No. 7 sister car, Felipe Nasr from Brazil and Dane Cameron (USA) receive support from the American IndyCar star Josef Newgarden and Matt Campbell. Cameron and Campbell are swapping series for the 2024 season: The American is fully committed to the IMSA series, with the Australian contesting the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC.

The customer teams

The customer squads JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition each campaign one Porsche 963 in the top GTP class. The German team’s No. 5 car is shared by the Porsche works drivers Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and Romain Dumas from France with Belgium’s Alessio Picariello and Neel Jani from Switzerland. Tijmen van der Helm from the Netherlands and the seasoned UK race driver Richard Westbrook make up the regular crew in JDC-Miller MotorSports’ No. 85 car. For the endurance race, they receive support from Englishman Phil Hanson, with successful amateur driver Ben Keating (USA) joining them as the fourth driver in Daytona.

Porsche 963, Proton Competition (#5), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Neel Jani (CH), Romain Dumas (F), Alessio Picariello (B), 2024, Porsche AG
Porsche 963, Proton Competition (#5), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Neel Jani (CH), Romain Dumas (F), Alessio Picariello (B)
Porsche 963, JDC-Miller MotorSports (#85), Tijmen van der Helm (NL), Richard Westbrook (UK), Phil Hanson (UK), Ben Keating (USA), 2024, Porsche AG
Porsche 963, JDC-Miller MotorSports (#85), Tijmen van der Helm (NL), Richard Westbrook (UK), Phil Hanson (UK), Ben Keating (USA)

The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by AO Racing will tackle the GTD Pro category. Former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich from Germany and Sebastian Priaulx from the UK are the regular drivers in the No. 77 car. At Daytona, they will be supported by Michael Christensen. The Dane is part of Porsche’s works driver squad, as is the experienced Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki, who will drive the No. 120 Porsche 911 GT3 R for Wright Motorsports at the 2024 season opener. The same applies to Austrian Thomas Preining. The defending DTM champion will share Andretti Motorsports’ No. 43 car with Jarett Andretti (USA), Colombian Gabby Chaves and Scott Hargrove from Canada. Julien Andlauer, Preining, Campbell, Jaminet, Christensen and Klaus Bachler have also come up through the ranks of the Porsche Junior programme.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, AO Racing (#77), Laurin Heinrich (D), Sebastian Priaulx (UK), Michael Christensen (DK), 2024, Porsche AG
Porsche 911 GT3 R, AO Racing (#77), Laurin Heinrich (D), Sebastian Priaulx (UK), Michael Christensen (DK)
Porsche 911 GT3 R, Kellymoss with Riley (#92), David Brule (USA), Alec Udell (USA), Trent Hindman (USA), Julien Andlauer (F), 2024, Porsche AG
Porsche 911 GT3 R, Kellymoss with Riley (#92), David Brule (USA), Alec Udell (USA), Trent Hindman (USA), Julien Andlauer (F)

Drivers’ comments before the race

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): “The new season is starting and finally it’s time to get going again! After last year’s experiences, we have a score to settle. I very much hope that we’ll have a little more luck on our side in the major endurance classics in 2024. Our entire team has been working hard to make further progress. With that in mind, I believe we’ll be competitive in Daytona. In 2023, the battle between the GTP manufacturers was always very close. It’ll be no different this season. We have to do everything perfectly. If we can do that, we have a chance of winning.”

Felipe Nasr (Porsche 963 #7): “Here we go again – I’m ready. It was nice to spend some time in my home country of Brazil during the break and prepare for the upcoming season. 2023 was a steep learning curve for our Porsche Penske Motorsport team. We were able to make significant progress in many areas. It’s a shame that it ultimately wasn’t enough to win the title. The season opener at Daytona is always a big highlight. Everyone really wants to win this race. With a year’s experience, I think we’re in a much better position, especially in terms of reliability. Our driver crew is strong. I expect we’ll be in with a chance for victory.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 963 #5): “I’m thrilled to be competing in the top class at Daytona and be in the fight for overall victory. Unfortunately, we’re lacking test kilometres. Other competitors are certainly much better prepared. I’ll be contesting the entire IMSA season and I’m looking forward to seeing how we perform as a team over the year.”

Tijmen van der Helm (Porsche 963 #85): “We performed very well in our test drives – that gives me confidence for the upcoming challenges. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season and an exciting Daytona 24-hour race. Even though Florida is the so-called ‘Sunshine State’ of the USA, we always have to be prepared for capricious weather, especially in January. It can get very cold and sometimes there’s torrential rain. That throws a spanner in the works, but it also opens up opportunities.”

Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche Penske Motorsport, 2024, Porsche AG
Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche Penske Motorsport
Felipe Nasr (BR), Porsche Penske Motorsport, 2024, Porsche AG
Felipe Nasr (BR), Porsche Penske Motorsport
Gianmaria Bruni (I), Proton Competition, 2024, Porsche AG
Gianmaria Bruni (I), Proton Competition
Tijmen van der Helm (NL), JDC-Miller MotorSports, 2024, Porsche AG
Tijmen van der Helm (NL), JDC-Miller MotorSports
Laurin Heinrich (D), AO Racing, 2024, Porsche AG
Laurin Heinrich (D), AO Racing
Thomas Preining (A), Andretti Motorsports, 2024, Porsche AG
Thomas Preining (A), Andretti Motorsports
Klaus Bachler (A), MDK Motorsports, 2024, Porsche AG
Klaus Bachler (A), MDK Motorsports
Julien Andlauer (F), Kellymoss with Riley, 2024, Porsche AG
Julien Andlauer (F), Kellymoss with Riley

Laurin Heinrich (Porsche 911 GT3 R #77): “It was a childhood dream of mine to represent Porsche at the 24-hour race in Daytona. This is now coming true for me in AO Racing’s 911 GT3 R. I’m heading into the season feeling highly motivated and with hopes of contributing some of my experience, for example, from the DTM. We’ve already completed the first tests. They gave me a lot of confidence. It’s a huge adventure for me to compete in the GTD Pro class throughout the year. I’ve worked hard on it and have made guest appearances in North America from time to time to prepare myself for something like this. At the age of just 22, I now have the opportunity to drive in this incredible series – it’s just fantastic!”

Thomas Preining (Porsche 911 GT3 R #43): “My very first race in the North American IMSA series is coming up, which will definitely be cool. Our driver line-up is strong. I’m assuming we can make something really good happen in Daytona. That being said, 24-hour races are notorious for surprises. Sometimes you think you’re perfectly set up, but then suddenly nothing works. Other times, it’s the other way around. Let’s see what it looks like when it counts. I don’t know the series, the track or the team so it’s completely new territory for me. Fortunately, we have the ‘Roar’ in advance, so we can get used to each other and the team processes during the test.”

Klaus Bachler (Porsche 911 GT3 R #86): “I always do everything I can to be on the grid at Daytona – it’s simply perfect that it’s happening again this year. The race there is always action-packed with plenty of suspense and it’s usually wide open until the very end. This will be my ninth start at Daytona. Often, I’ve narrowly missed out on victory. I definitely want to change that! We’re all working hard and systematically as a team to turn the dream of standing on the top step of the podium after 24 hours into reality.”

Julien Andlauer (Porsche 911 GT3 R #92): “I’m a massive fan of the 24-hour race in Daytona. That’s why I was so thrilled when I got the call in mid-December informing me that I’ll be racing with Kellymoss with Riley. I competed for the team several times in the 2023 season – it’s almost my IMSA home. My teammates David Brule and Alec Udell are also back – perfect! Together, our sights are set on a top result.”

Adam Adelson (Porsche 911 GT3 R #120): “I’m very grateful and excited to be competing in the IMSA with Wright Motorsports in the 2024 season. It’s a great step to be already racing in the top class in my second year of competition in the GT3 category. I’ll be sharing the Porsche in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races with my teammate from last year, Elliott Skeer, and Jan Heylen. Jan has an incredible amount of experience. I hope to learn a lot from him.”

Daytona International Raceway, 2024, Porsche AG

An overview of the drivers and teams

GTP class (Porsche 963):
Proton Competition #5: Gianmaria Bruni (I) / Romain Dumas (F) / Alessio Picariello (B) / Neel Jani (CH)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #6: Mathieu Jaminet (F) / Nick Tandy (UK) / Laurens Vanthoor (B) / Kévin Estre (F)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #7: Dane Cameron (USA) / Felipe Nasr (BR) / Josef Newgarden (USA) / Matt Campbell (AUS)
JDC-Miller MotorSports #85: Tijmen van der Helm (NL) / Richard Westbrook (UK) / Ben Keating (USA) / 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) / Thomas Preining (A)
MDK Motorsports #86: Anders Fjordbach (DK) / Kerong Li (CHN) / Klaus Bachler (A) / Larry ten Voorde (NL)
Kellymoss with Riley #92: David Brule (USA) / Alec Udell (USA) / Trent Hindman (USA) / Julien Andlauer (F)
Wright Motorsports #120: Adam Adelson (USA) / Elliott Skeer (USA) / Jan Heylen (B) / Frédéric Makowiecki (F)

The schedule (local time, CET -6 hours)

Friday, 19 January
11:00 am to 12:30 pm: Test session 1
4:15 pm to 6:00 pm: Test session 2

Saturday, 20 January
11:15 am – 12:45 pm: Test session 3
3:10 pm – 4:10 pm: Test session 4
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Test session 5

Sunday, 21 January
1:25 pm – 1:50 pm: Test session 6 (only GTP class)
1:55 pm – 2:10 pm: Qualifying GTD Pro/GTD
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm: Qualifying GTP

Thursday, 25 January
10:05 am – 11:35 am: Free practice 1
2:10 pm – 3:55 pm: Free practice 2
6:35 pm – 8:05 pm: Free practice 3

Friday, 26 January
11:20 am – 12:20 pm: Free practice 4

Saturday, 27 January
1:40 pm: Start of the 24 Hours of Daytona

Sunday, 28 January
1:40 pm: Finish of the 24 Hours of Daytona

Porsche’s overall wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona

1968 – Elford/Neerpasch/Stommelen/Herrmann/Siffert (Porsche 907 LH)
1970 – Rodríguez/Kinnunen/Redman (Porsche 917 K)
1971 – Rodríguez/Oliver (Porsche 917 K)
1973 – Gregg/Haywood (Porsche Carrera RSR)
1975 – Gregg/Haywood (Porsche Carrera RSR)
1977 – Graves/Haywood/Helmick (Porsche Carrera RSR)
1978 – Gregg/Hezemans/Stommelen (Porsche 935)
1979 – Field/Haywood/Ongais (Porsche 935)
1980 – Merl/Joest/Stommelen (Porsche 935)
1981 – Rahal/Garretson/Redman (Porsche 935)
1982 – Paul Sr./Paul Jr./Stommelen (Porsche 935)
1983 – Foyt/Ballot-Léna/Wollek/Henn (Porsche 935)
1985 – Foyt/Unser/Wollek/Boutsen (Porsche 962)
1986 – Holbert/Bell/Unser (Porsche 962)
1987 – Holbert/Bell/Unser/Robinson (Porsche 962)
1989 – Andretti/Bell/Wollek (Porsche 962)
1991 – Jelinski/Haywood/Wollek/Pescarolo/Krages (Porsche 962)
2003 – Buckler/Schrom/Bernhard/Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 RS)

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Consumption data

911 GT3 Models

WLTP*
  • 13,4 – 12,9 l/100 km
  • 305 – 292 g/km

911 GT3 Models

Consumo di carburante / Emissioni
consumo carburante combinato (WLTP) 13,4 – 12,9 l/100 km
emissioni CO₂ combinato (WLTP) 305 – 292 g/km
Classe di efficienza: G