The penultimate race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was due to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – also known as the Brickyard. For Porsche, the starting conditions at the sprint race were promising, and a good thing too. Indianapolis held great meaning for the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team: The team returns to its test track for the Battle on the Bricks.
After a very successful qualifying, Matt Campbell in the #7 Porsche 961 was first and Mathieu Jaminet in the #6 car was second. For the Customer Racing Teams Proton Competition and JDC-Miller Motorsports, Gianmaria Bruni in the #59 started from ninth position and Tijmen van der Helm in the #5 Porsche 963 started from 10th in the GTP class. Meanwhile, Klaus Bachler in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R was leading the GTD Pro class. In the GTD class, Kelly-Moss with Riley #91 was in eighth position, closely followed by the pink AO Racing #80 911 GT3 R in ninth. The Wright Motorsport #77 was 12th on the grid and the Kelly-Moss with Riley sister car #92 was 15th.
Immediately after the start, the GTP cars were unable to get up to full speed, as the first corner required an adapted speed. However, despite the adjustments, a Cadillac car spun behind the Porsche Penske Motorsport cars, causing a commotion in the class. Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet switched spots. Gianmaria Bruni #59 and Tijmen van der Helm #5 also improved their positions onto positions five and eight, respectively.
There was also a small incident in the GTD classes in the first corner – fortunately, the Porsche Customer Racing Teams were spared. After 10 minutes of Full Course Yellow, the track was cleared for racing once more. But there were more consequences from the start of the race due: Klaus Bachler in the Pfaff Motorsports #9 Porsche 911 GT3 R had to serve a drive-through penalty for breaking out of the starting formation before the start. He returned to the track in fifth place in his class.
The advantageous starting positions of the two Porsche GTP cars allowed the number six and seven cars to gradually gain a lead on the following cars. Meanwhile, Gianmaria Bruni in the Proton Competition #5 Porsche 963 closed in on the Cadillac ahead of him and immediately took fourth place. His goal was clear: a podium finish. But the Cadillac was not about to just give up their spot. In the following laps of the race, a tense battle between Cadillac and Proton Competition ensued – Gianmaria Bruni was forced to drop back to fifth position.