Nine Porsche vehicles hunting for points.
On August 5, the nine Porsche vehicles of the GTP and GTD classes enter battle for the eighth time for the prestige and points of the 2023 season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The race on Road America by Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin, opens the final phase of the current season.
The teams and drivers can expect a popular permanent racetrack that just received new asphalt. The 14 curves offer a thrilling combination of high-speed passages and technical turn sections. In the past, the 6.515 kilometer-long track allows for high average speeds of up to 215 kph. Due to the new asphalt even higher speeds can most likely be reached.
The Porsche Penske Motorsport Team and several other participants of the GTP class already could complete test drives on Road America in June and can apply the knowledge gained from that time. For all other drivers, the track may be familiar in terms of layout, but completely unkonwn in terms of road surface. The new asphalt will offer quite a bit of grip, but how it will develop over time as tire wear increases, is unclear.
Road America has been completely renovated. This has changed the characteristics of this special track.
Back on track.
In terms of track layout, the teams and drivers can expect a varying mix between turns and straights. The start-finish straight is long and already allows for high speeds that provide momentum for the first right turn. A short straight leads toward the second right turn and helps build up speed again, and as drivers exit the curve, they can speed up once again into the Moraine Sweep. For the following left turn, the track heads slightly downhill – in the past, a bump in the asphalt made the turn slightly more complex.
The following right turn leads into the Hurry Downs, an aptly named straight that heads further downhill. A long carousel follows a 90-degree left turn and from the carousel, the Road America track enters its most famous track section: the kink – a literal kink in the track due a quick left-right combination. After that, it heads directly into the Kettle Bottoms straight, down into the Canadian Corner and further into Thunder Valley, where the track heads back uphill and into the final turn.
After the race on the Road America, three more races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are still to follow. For Porsche Penske Motorsport, the goal for the next race is therefore clear: The Porsche 963 #6 is currently on fourth spot of the team championship, but the point distance to the team on third position on the podium is small. Therefore, a victory in Wisconsin would offer the chance to get back into the top scoring.
"We want to get back on the path to success, and at least achieve podium results," says Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport.
We are keeping our fingers crossed for all teams.