The recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race showcased an impressive performance by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team, securing their second victory of the season. However, their triumph was marred by a subsequent technical inspection that revealed minor discrepancies in the No. 6 Porsche 963. As a result, the hybrid prototype driven by Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet was relegated to the rear of the top GTP class. The sister car, piloted by Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell, encountered technical problems and required extensive repairs, ultimately finishing in eighth place.
Taking place in dry conditions in New York, the race saw Porsche Penske Motorsport’s two Porsche 963 cars dominate from the start. Nick Tandy, starting from pole position, successfully defended his lead, while Matt Campbell swiftly moved up from second place to claim the top spot after 30 minutes. While the No. 6 car maintained its lead, the sister car faced a setback approximately two hours into the race due to a defect in the hybrid system. The repairs took two hours, significantly hampering their progress.
As the race progressed, the LMDh vehicles from Porsche, Cadillac, BMW, and Acura took turns leading the field, employing different pit stop and tire strategies. In the final hour, the tension heightened as the leading cars closed in on each other. After the last pit stop, Mathieu Jaminet found himself in second place, trailing the leader by eight seconds and with a four-second advantage over the third-placed competitor. Despite facing heavy traffic, Jaminet delivered a flawless performance under immense pressure. With only ten minutes remaining, he skillfully overtook the BMW driven by Connor de Phillippi but struggled to shake off his rival. A late caution phase provided some relief as overtaking is prohibited behind the safety car during the final two laps. This secured the second victory of the season for the Tandy/Jaminet duo.
Following the race, post-race inspection at Watkins Glen International revealed a violation by the No. 6 Porsche 963. The front skid wear was found to be slightly outside the legal tolerance, while the rear skid wear remained within the limits. The skid wear, an anti-skid made of wood located in the underbody, is a mandatory component according to regulations. Porsche Penske Motorsport intends to gather all the necessary data and follow the protest procedures in response to the penalty imposed by IMSA.
Meanwhile, the No. 7 sister car also showed promise, leading the race for the first two hours. Through a combination of impressive driving and strategic team decisions, Matt Campbell claimed the lead within 30 minutes. However, shortly after handing over to Felipe Nasr, a hybrid system fault hindered their progress. The extensive repairs and replacement of high-voltage components consumed nearly two hours. Ultimately, Campbell and Nasr finished in eighth place in the GTP class. The customer team JDC-Miller MotorSports, with drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm, achieved a commendable fifth-place finish after a flawless performance.
Despite the challenges faced, the Porsche Penske Motorsport team showcased their skill and determination in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. The impressive performances and technical expertise displayed by the drivers and crews solidify their position as top contenders in the championship.