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.