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A strong lead.

Dominant lead on the Road America.

Engines roared in the late morning of Sunday, August 6 in Wisconsin near Elkhart Lake, just ahead of the eighth race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The five vehicle classes were getting ready for the race to start in ideal weather. Beside the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team and JDC-Miller MotorSports, Proton Competition also joined the grid of this race with a Porsche 963 #59.

Due to the Cadillac in Pole Position having an accident directly in the warm-up round, the starting positions of the GTP class shifted to the advantage of Porsche: Therefore, the Porsche 963 #7 started from first position, while the sister car with the #6 entered the race from sixth position. From eighth position, the JDC-Miller MotorSport Team started closely followed by Proton Competition on ninth position. In the GTD Pro class, the Porsche 911 GT3 R #9 of Pfaff Motorsports started from fifth position. Meanwhile, all four Porsche vehicles of the Customer Racing teams were starting from the last four spots of the GTD class. The race promised to become thrilling in all classes: While the #7 aimed to maintain its position, the goal for all other cars was to improve their own position.


The race immediately began under Full Course Yellow, as a BMW ended in the gravel pit directly in the formation round. Four minutes after the start, the track was cleared again: Matt Campbell in the Porsche Penske Motorsport #7 managed to maintain his position, while the number six moved up to fourth position throughout the starting huddle. The cleared track did not stay that for long, as the BMW #25 lost control within the first 10 minutes of the race and crashed against the track walls in the Kink. It stopped for the last time on the track – Full Course Yellow again.


The race restarted just before the first 15 minutes ended. Matt Campbell still kept his position, while his team colleague Nick Tandy went in for the attack ahead of the first curve against the car in third position – though without success, but the intent was clear. At the same time, Mike Rockenfeller in the Porsche 963 #5 also attacked from the inside curve against the BMW #27. Both slipped out of a curve, but while Rockenfeller managed to right his car, the BMW skidded out into the green and fell behind by a few positions.


In the GTD class, the Kelly-Moss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3 R #91 and the #80 of AO Racing were working their way through their class. This, beside the constantly improving lap times of multiple vehicles, proved that the new asphalt in Elkhart Lake allowed for better laps as predicted.

The pace of our number 6 was great. Unfortunately, a puncture destroyed all hopes – that’s how it goes in motor racing sometimes.

Thomas LaudenbachVice President of Porsche Motorsport

Shortly before the first half hour concluded, Nick Tandy was forced to head into the pit. Damage on his right rear tire forced him to head out carefully and beside a tank filling, he also received four new tires. The first cars of the GT classes also entered pit lane: With that, Klaus Bachler in the Porsche 911 GT3 R #9 moved up onto third spot of his class. In the meantime, Matt Campbell was improving on his advantage.


15 minutes after the final two hours began, the JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 entered the pit for a driver change: Mike Rockenfeller switched his spot in the cockpit with the Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm. The other GTP behicles also entered pit lane one after the other – with exception of Matt Campbell: With a time advantage of over 15 seconds, he remained on the track. But he would not delay his pit stop much longer, as Felipe Nasr was already awaiting his team colleague.


After the switch in car number seven of Porsche Penske Motorsport, Felipe Nasr returned to the grid on second spot and behind the #31 that had yet to perform its pit stop. As it moved for its stop, Felipe Nasr moved back to the top. A few moments after, JDC-Miller MotorSports' driver Van der Helm entered a duell with the Konica Minolta #10 and lost a spot – but a driving mistake of the very same car just a few seconds later helped the #5 return to its previous fourth position.


Before the final hour was about to begin, Nick Tandy enterd the pit as the first of the GTP class. Beside new tires for the Porsche 963 #6, the car was handed to Mathieu Jaminet to drive. A great moment for a glance at the positions: Felipe Nasr in the Porsche 963 #7 was still in the lead, the #5 of JDC-Miller MotorSports was on fifth. Proton Competition with the #59 was on eighth position and after the driver switch, Mathieu Jaminet came in behind it. In the GTD Pro class, Patrick Pilet was in the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 R #9 and had moved up to second spot. In the GTD class, Kelly-Moss with Riley #91 had reached eighth position, the #77 Wright Motorsports car 11th, the #92 of Kelly-Moss with Riley was on 12th and AO Racing's #80 was on 14th position.


In the final 45 minutes, Felipe Nasr entered pit lange and received new tires for the left side only. He returned to his previous position. Patrick Pilet in the 911 GT3 R #9 sadly fell behind on fifth position. Setbacks were also experienced by the GT cars of the Customer Racing Teams in the GTD class – the best ranked Porsche was the #91 of Kelly-Moss with Riley on 10th position. 


Throughout the final 40 minutes, there was some restlessness in the garage of the number six car – Mathieu Jaminet had to enter the pit and besides a fuel refill, also received a new rear. At the same time, Felipe Nasr in the number seven lost some of his great advantage ahead of the second car of the GTP class, the #60 Acura. Still: He had enough time advantage to hold his position in the final 20 minutes.

The Porsche 963 #7 increasing its lead.

Thrilling battle for the finish.

The distance between first and second place shrunk even further in the final 15 minutes of the race: Felipe Nasr's position was coming under threat. The deciding difference between the two vehicles was, that the #7 Porsche had only received new tires on the left side, while the #60 had gotten a complete new set during its previous pit stop. The #60 already had the leading Porsche clearly in its sights. The final minutes promised to become incredible thrilling.


With only 10 minutes of remaining race time, the battle for first and second became the focus. Only two seconds of distance between the two cars, Felipe Nasr focused on reaching the highest possible speed without risking a driving mistake. Both vehicles regularly passed the slower classes without losing too much time. At the same time, the Porsche #59 and #6 were battling for positions against each other. Felipe Nasr was close to catching up to both vehicles, while the Acura was still battling its way past two GT vehicles.


The suspense was unbearable when the finaly two laps were announced. The Pfaff Motorsports #9 was then between the Acura and the leading Felipe Nasr – allowing the number seven to regain a time advantage of four seconds when the final lap began. Nasr fully utilized these four seconds and placed as many vehicles between himself and his pursuer. Not that it had been necessary: With over four seconds of advantage, Felipe Nasr drove to the first spot of the podium under the cheers of his team.


An incredible comeback by the Porsche Penske Motorsports Team after the setbacks of the last races.


These are the finishing positions of the Porsche Teams on Road America:

GTP class:

1. Porsche Penske Motorsport #7

5. JDC-Miller MotorSports #5 7. Porsche Penske Motorsport #6

8. Proton Competition #59


GTD Pro class:

4. Pfaff Motorsports #9


GTD class:

9. Kelly-Moss with Riley #91

11. AO Racing #80

12. Kelly-Moss with Riley #92

14. Wright Motorsports #77

The vehicles of the GTP class after race start with the Porsche 963 #7 in the lead.
The Porsche 963 #7 ahead of the JDC-Miller MotorSport 963 #5 on the race track.
The Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R ahead of the Porsche 963 #59 on the race track.
The yellow Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R ahead of multiple vehicles in the Kink.
The Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in the pit.

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