Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (2024)

Atlanta.Round six of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship began with a rollercoaster ride that lasted almost five hours. The field was turned upside down due to the multiple caution flags, rain showers in the first half and a torrential downpour with two and half hours remaining in the Six Hours of The Glen. Almost all cars in the top GTP class spent time at the front – including both Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 and the JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963. The cards were then reshuffled. With one hour and 20 minutes remaining, a downpour at the tradition-steeped racetrack flooded portions of the 3.4-mile road course forcing race officials to red-flag the event.

Victory was ultimately decided in a thrilling 17-minute showdown. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) launched their last-gasp sprint from second and fourth place, respectively. After the restart, the Brazilian grabbed the first opportunity and, with an impressive move, swept past the leading Acura. Jaminet also cut his way up to third place shortly before the checkered flag, taking his place on the podium.

Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (1)

“What a nail-biting race in Watkins Glen,” grinned Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “This is our third victory of the season. We’ve climbed the podium at every race so far and have extended our lead in the championship – things couldn’t be better! A huge compliment to our Porsche Penske Motorsport works team and to the drivers, who put in a stellar performance under the trickiest conditions. Many thanks as well to all the employees back in Weissach and our strong partners, who give us excellent support in this project.”

Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (2)

“Our strategists, drivers and the pit crew did an awesome job in a truly crazy race,” states Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “We demonstrated that we’re adept at handling extremely difficult situations. After our performance in Le Mans, this is great for everyone. Our customer team JDC-Miller MotorSports put in an extremely strong drive today. Unfortunately, they received a major penalty. Still, congratulations to the team on its first-class work.”

“It’s a banner day for our whole team and it’s wonderful to see the Porsche 963 in victory lane,” explains Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. “Our cars were incredibly fast in the race. The team did a great job under changeable conditions. I’m particularly pleased that our number 7 advanced to the top of the overall leaderboard thanks to this victory. We now have a longer break until the next race at Road America. It’s nice to head into this break with a victorious feeling.”

Porsche now holds a 41-point advantage at the top of the manufacturers’ championship. The crew of the No. 7 car and the works drivers Nasr and Cameron lead the team and drivers’ championships with a clear buffer of 93 points. Tandy and Jaminet currently rank third. Porsche also moves to first place in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, a championship within a championship that includes the five longest races of the year.

JDC-Miller MotorSports customer team dominates in the early phase

Porsche customer team JDC-Miller MotorSports put in an inspired drive during the first hour of the Watkins Glen race. After planting the No. 85 Porsche 963 in fourth place on the grid – the fastest of the Porsche hybrid protypes – in qualifying on Saturday, Phil Hanson (United Kingdom) set a blistering pace in his opening stint. In the first two laps, the UK driver swept past two rivals and promptly catapulted the bright yellow hybrid prototype into the lead. His teammate Tijmen van der Helm (Netherlands), however, was unable to maintain this position, and bad luck hit Richard Westbrook (United Kingdom) two hours before the flag. While driving out of the pit lane, the Englishman accidentally struck the RFID system of tire partner Michelin – an RF system used to scan codes on tires as the cars leave pit lane. Consequently, he was handed a five-minute penalty, which heralded the end of his dream of victory. Proton Competition’s identical car took the flag in seventh place overall without any major incidents.

Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (3)

GT classes: Wright Motorsport’s Porsche 911 GT3 R stripped of podium spot

In the GTD class, Wright Motorsport’s Porsche 911 GT3 R crossed the finish line in second place after six hours. However, the team of Adam Adelson (Los Angeles, California), Elliott Skeer (San Diego, California) and Jan Heylen (Belgium) would lose its podium place shortly after the checkered flag. The crew of the No. 120 car had violated the regulations regarding the minimum driving time. Wright Motorsport’s 911 was relegated to 21st place, with the identical cars from MDK Motorsports and Andretti Motorsports taking the flag in ninth and eleventh positions. In the GTD Pro class, AO Racing’s 911 GT3 R dubbed “Rexy” finished sixth. As a result, Sebastian Priaulx (United Kingdom) and the former Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich (Germany) defended their championship lead.

Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (4)

Dane Cameron, Driver, No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963:
“It’s wonderful to win at Watkins Glen and to have the sister car on the podium as well. This victory is a huge step for us in terms of our championship ambitions. Ten years ago, I celebrated a class win at Watkins Glen – now I’ve finally clinched overall victory. What a fantastic feeling.”

Felipe Nasr, Driver, No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963:
“This victory comes at just the right time, as we’re now entering the hot phase in the bid for the championship title. It was an enormous challenge for our team in these chaotic conditions, but the crew handled it masterfully. Everyone stayed calm and made smart decisions – just fantastic. I can’t wait for the next race.”

Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963:
“Both cars on the podium – what a result. The race was extremely interesting. So much happened. At the end of the day, we had two really fast Porsche 963 for the final sprint to the finish and we scored a heap of points. These last few days at Watkins Glen were a welcome change after our not-so-favorable experience at Le Mans.”

Richard Westbrook, Driver, No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963:
“I’m incredibly disappointed. After we switched to wet tires, I had to adjust the steering wheel on the way out. That’s when I made the mistake and nudged Michelin’s ID system. I had expected to get a drive-through penalty, but the five-minute penalty was a killer for us. There was nothing we could do. I feel so sorry for the team, especially since our car was so strong this weekend. It’s a super bitter pill to swallow.”

Laurin Heinrich, Driver, No. 77 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R:
“After our wins at Laguna Seca and Detroit, our spirits and expectations were high coming to Watkins Glen. Nevertheless, we always knew that the racetrack wasn’t the best fit for our 911 GT3 R. We were running among the top three at times but lost a lot of ground due to making the wrong tire decision, among other factors. Ultimately, it was the last-ditch sprint that resulted in sixth place for us. At least we defended our lead in the championship.”

Adam Adelson, Driver, No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R:
“We put in an outstanding performance as a team, and I think I drove my best stint ever today. As always, my teammates Elliott and Jan were great. Unfortunately, the red flags thwarted our plan and ultimately meant that we broke the rules regarding driving times. I don’t quite know how to deal with that now. I think we would’ve deserved second place.”

Race result:

GTP class:
1. Cameron/Nasr (USA/Brazil), Porsche 963 No. 7, 148 laps
2. Bourdais/van der Zande (France/Netherlands), Cadillac No. 01, + 0.749 seconds
3. Jaminet/Tandy (France/UK), Porsche 963 No. 6, + 2.819 seconds
7. Bruni/Viscaal (Italy/Netherlands), Porsche 963 No. 5, 1 lap down
9. Hanson/Van der Helm/Westbrook (UK/Netherlands/UK), Porsche 963 No. 85, 2 laps down

GTD-Pro class:
1. Gunn/Riberas (UK/Spain), Aston Martin No. 23, 140 laps
2. Kirchhöfer/Jarvis (Switzerland/UK), McLaren No. 9, + 1.340 seconds
3. Garcia/Sims (Spain/UK), Corvette No. 3, + 2.517 seconds
5. Heinrich/Priaulx (Denmark/UK), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 77, + 3.976 seconds

GTD class:
1. Ward/Ellis/Dontje (USA/UK/Netherlands), Mercedes-AMG No. 57, 140 laps
2. Franco/Costa/Sbirrazzuoli (USA/Spain/Monte Carlo), Ferrari No. 34, + 1.651 seconds
3. Potter/Lally/Pumpelly (USA/USA/USA), Aston Martin No. 44, + 2.891 seconds
7. Li/Fjordbach/Bachler (China/Denmark/Austria), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 86, + 10.276 seconds
8. Andretti/Chaves/Hargrove (USA/USA/Canada), Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 43, + 14.971 seconds
21. Adelson/Skeer/Heylen (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R No.120, + 0.884 seconds

Full results and championship standingshttps://imsa.alkamelsystems.com.

Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (5)
Porsche Penske Motorsport wins the 6-hour race in Watkins Glen (2024)


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