Porsche Motorsport Logo


Of unique chances: Interview with Jonathan Diuguid.

Question: After your studies, you almost immediately joined Penske Motorsport. What have so far been your greatest personal successes and emotional moments in motorsport with Team Penske?

Jonathan Diuguid: I have had the privilege of working at Team Penske for the entirety of my professional career, starting with the Porsche RS Spyder Factory Program. Following this, I was able to be challenged for many years in IndyCar and IMSA. If I had to pick specific events from this period, I would highlight the 2007 Sebring 12 Hours overall win, 2012 Indy 500 pole, 2017 Iowa Speedway win, and the consecutive DPi championships we won in 2019 and 2020.

With each different program, I have found success with marque wins and championships, which have all been fulfilling. With each of these triumphs it was rewarding to share the victories with all the team members I worked with to achieve these milestones. There is always the thrill of victory, but being able to celebrate as a team makes all the effort worth it.

Question: This year, you’re participating in the WEC with Porsche Penske Motorsport. What makes Le Mans such a special race – for you personally and for Penske Motorsport?

Jonathan Diuguid: Team Penske and Roger Penske have been highly successful both domestically in North America but also internationally in Formula 1 and Australian V8 supercars. The WEC, as a full FIA World Championship, allows Penske to compete for this world championship and an overall win in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans. That, combined with the fact that an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one triumph that has eluded Roger and the team thus far, makes it all the more desirable.

The opportunity to represent Porsche and Team Penske, as Porsche Penske Motorsport, is the pinnacle of my career. If our group delivers an overall victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans for Porsche Penske Motorsport, it would add to the history of both groups.

Over the past two years this team has put in extraordinary effort to get the program to the first race and, through the first races in both the WEC and IMSA, we have all been focused on preparation for Le Mans.

Question: What seems most formidable to you about this legendary 24-hour race?

Jonathan Diuguid: At Le Mans, you are not only racing the other competitors on track; you are racing yourself as well. Having a reliable car that you can push for 24 hours is a formidable task. Endurance racing has turned into 24 hours of sprint racing; you can no longer sit back and "take care of the car."

For the centenary running of the race, 16 entries are battling for the overall win, making this the most entries in the top class that the race has had in decades. Combined with the challenges of just finishing the race, we are competing against world-class manufacturers that will be pushing for the win as much as we will.

The Porsche 963 #6 battling for positions against multiple other Hypercar vehicles.
Battle for positions in Portimão.

Question: What can you predict for Le Mans?

Jonathan Diuguid: I will admit, history has shown that motor racing, especially endurance racing, is anything but predictable. However, I am confident in the men and women of our team, as well as our drivers, and I believe that we are prepared to compete as a team in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. The rest ... we will react in the best way possible to any situation and take every step to maximize our potential and ensure the best results possible.

Question: For Porsche, it may be the 20th overall victory, for Team Penske the first victory in Le Mans. The incredible success of both brands raises expectations. How euphoric are you and your team about it all?

Jonathan Diuguid: Many have said that the Porsche Penske Motorsport program combines two powerhouses of motorsport, which is true, creating clearly high expectations. The one thing that everyone in the team understands is that results do not come without hard work and the support to create an opportunity to be successful. So, I would not describe it as euphoric, more as hyper-focused on the challenge before us and respectful of the inherent challenges the Le Mans race poses. As a team, we have put in the testing miles and preparation to expose the team and the car, as best we can, to what we will all experience during the race.

Question: What’s the difference between preparing for Le Mans and another, shorter endurance race?

Jonathan Diuguid: The preparation of the car is, honestly, very similar. We will focus more practice on abnormal scenarios, like crash damage or part/component repair. Additionally, a more significant focus is on the human side of a 24-hour race. Many of the team members will be up for 40+ hours around the race event and ensuring that we keep performing at the highest level possible over that time is essential. The team brings physios, doctors, special catering, and other services to care for race team personnel as much as possible.

Question: How satisfied are you with the cooperation with Porsche? What are the differences to your work so far and what are the advantages of such a cooperation?

Jonathan Diuguid: What has worked smoothly is the open and clear discussions to improve the Porsche Penske Motorsport program consistently. Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske formed the global Porsche Penske Motorsport team to take advantage of the strengths of both groups. With the start of any program of this size, there are always hurdles; however, the cooperation and shared experiences have been extremely instrumental in allowing the team to operate at such a high level so early in a new program.

The pit team of the Porsche 963 #5 concluding the pit stop.

Question: In the previous races, only two LMDh prototypes were utilized in the races of the IMSA and WEC. Why send three for the start in Le Mans?

Jonathan Diuguid: The centenary of Le Mans only happens once! In all seriousness, it was a big push for the team to get the infrastructure and equipment for the running of the additional car on top of the two full-time WEC cars. Even with the additional effort and stress required, having the additional car on the grid prepared by the same team increases the opportunity for success in the race.

Question: What challenges do you think there may be for the more IMSA-experienced drivers?

Jonathan Diuguid: The drivers in the #75 entry are each experienced at Le Mans in their own right. I am confident they will be able to apply their experiences to hit the ground running at the start of the test day. Nick Tandy has ten years of experience and is a previous overall winner. Felipe Nasr has several years of experience at Le Mans in the LMP2 class. Mathieu Jaminet has a year of experience in the GTE class and has shown that he has been able to adapt and be extremely quick in the four IMSA races to date. The pedigree of the Porsche Penske Motorsport racing driver group speaks for itself. I do not expect any of our pilots to be a weak point as we approach this iconic race.

Question: Porsche and Penske have quite a shared history. Besides the commitments with the Porsche 917 and the Porsche RS Spyder, this is the first cooperation for a long time. What is your conclusion so far?

Jonathan Diuguid: We have built a solid foundation to build a successful organization as a group. With only seven races competed in by the Porsche Penske Motorsport organisation, we have already secured an overall win in IMSA plus multiple podiums; a podium finish in the WEC; and one to two qualifying in IMSA. Additionally, we are leading the IMSA points championship and hold third in the constructors' championship in WEC as we move into Le Mans. Even with this, our group has a long way to go and can continually improve, but we should all be proud of what we have already achieved.


Recommended articles