Porsche Motorsport Notes. Grand Prix of Long Beach

Long Beach, California. April 16, 2024. The Grand Prix of Long Beach marks one-year since the first global win for the Porsche 963, earned by Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy on a daring pit strategy call for fuel only during the 100-minute race. Porsche looks to celebrate the anniversary with a number of key milestones as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship enters its third round. Tied with Chevrolet at 10 for the most wins on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach, California street course, Porsche is pursuing its 600th career IMSA victory. The record-extending milestone could come with either an overall victory for the Porsche 963 in Saturday’s race or a Porsche 911 GT3 R win in the GTD class.

Porsche partner Team Penske is one pole position away from 100 sports car poles, as well as one victory away from 100 sports car wins. 40 of those wins and 46 of the total pole positions came in Porsche equipment. This adds to the five sports car championships Penske and Porsche have shared; two in the Can Am Series and three in the American Le Mans Series. The Porsche and Penske relationship dates to 1972 when the combination fielded a Porsche 917/10 in the Can Am series.

With the green flag of the WeatherTech race on Saturday, April 20, Team Penske will be making its 6,004 and 6005th career starts across all forms of motorsport. Team Penske’s NASCAR Cup Series cars marked the 6,000th race start at Martinsville on April 7. It all began in sports car racing with the program’s first start coming in 1966 at the 24 Hours of Daytona under the ‘Roger Penske Racing’ banner, and since then, 109 drivers have contributed to the impressive total.

Strength in numbers.
Porsche Motorsport will have a mixture of factory and customer programs racing all over the globe this weekend. In addition to the Porsche 963 and Porsche 911 GT3 R entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as the Porsche 911 GT3 R and Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport racers of the SRO GT America series at Long Beach, Porsche will also support teams at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) round at Imola in Italy. Management will divide to conquer with Managing Director Jonathan Diuguid and Team Penske president Tim Cindric overseeing operations in Long Beach while “The Captain”, Roger Penske, travels to Italy. Porsche Motorsport will take the same approach with Director of Factory Racing, LMDh Urs Kuratle and vice president of Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach overseeing the WEC program.

Team Penske will again feature entries in both headline events at Long Beach. The two-car Porsche Penske Motorsport effort will seek to repeat as race winners in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Saturday with a pair Porsche 963 hybrid prototypes. The Roger Penske-owned three car open wheel program will seek victory in the IndyCar Series feature on Sunday. To meet the needs of a championship caliber race team, 118 people will be on the ground at Long Beach to support the five race cars that are associated with Team Penske: 55 with the Porsche Penske Motorsport effort and 63 overseeing the three-car Team Penske Indy cars.

In total, 132 people will staff the four Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 race cars racing globally this weekend. This includes all team and Porsche Motorsport personnel at Long Beach and Imola as well as at the Operations Room at Porsche Motorsport’s headquarters in Weissach, Germany.

Digging deeper, Team Penske will also have 76 people associated with their various NASCAR elements racing at Talladega.

Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) brings eight team members to the track supporting all elements from engineering to parts to marketing and communications as well as management.

All told, 279 people on two continents, three countries, in two states with four different time zones will be connected to Porsche Penske Motorsport, Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske.

By class.
GTP. 4 Porsche Entries.

Porsche is tied with Cadillac and Acura for the lead of the Manufacturer standings with 710 points, +90 points over BMW.

No. 5. Proton Competition Porsche 963. Bruni/ Rockenfeller
o Point Standings: 9th, 514 points, -192 points to the leader.
o Like other international teams, the Proton operation is splitting its focus between Long Beach and the Six Hours of Imola FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) round.
o Rockenfeller returns to the Porsche 963 for Long Beach. He raced the JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche in IMSA GTP competition in 2023.
o Rockenfeller teamed with Patrick Long to set the fastest lap at Long Beach in a Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype in 2006.
o Bruni is a Porsche factory driver.

No. 6. Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963. Jaminet/ Tandy
o Point Standings: 6th, 545 points, -161 points to the leader.
o Jaminet and Tandy combined at Long Beach to earn the Porsche 963 its first global win in 2023.
o Tandy has three wins at Long Beach including the 2023 overall victory and two GTLM class wins driving a Porsche 911 RSR in 2016 and a Corvette C8.R in 2021.
o Tandy earned the GTLM class pole position in 2019 with a Porsche 911 RSR-19.
o Will carry the Porsche onboard camera this weekend.

No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963. Cameron/ Nasr
o Point Standings: Leader, 706 points, Tied with No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti.
o Cameron is a native of California. He was born in Newport Beach, California and, today, lives near the Porsche Penske Motorsport shop in Huntersville, North Carolina.
o Nasr won Long Beach overall (DPi class) from pole position in 2019.
o Matt Campbell, who shared the No. 7 at Daytona and Sebring earlier this year, used the Misano, Italy rounds of the FIA Formula E World Championship to familiarize himself with the Porsche 99X Electric Gen 3 on April 13 – 14. Campbell, who has tallied race wins in both the Porsche 963 at Daytona and the 911 GT3 R at the 12 Hours of Bathurst already this year, was experiencing the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s EV race car for the first time.

No. 85 JDC-Miller MotorSports Porsche 963. van der Helm/ Westbrook
o Point Standings: 10th, 497 points, -209 points to the leader.
o JDC-Miller won the Prototype Challenge (PC) class at Long Beach in 2016.
o This marks the first race at Long Beach for the Minneapolis-based team with the Porsche 963.
o JDC-Miller will partner with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® for the remainder of the 2024 season. The team’s involvement is thanks to the generosity of a partnership between St. Jude – the world’s leader in childhood cancer research and treatments – and Porsche Minneapolis and Porsche St. Paul.
o JDC-Miller MotorSports will utilize the Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) facilities in nearby Carson, California following Long Beach to prepare the No. 85 Porsche for the next round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

GTD Pro. 1 Porsche entry – Class is not competing at Long Beach
Porsche is second in the Manufacturer standings with 625 points, -12 points to Lexus.

No. 77 AO Racing. Heinrich/ Priaulx
o Point Standings: 4th, 605 points, -117 points to the leader.
o While “Rexy” is not competing at Long Beach, AO Racing will use PMNA’s garages in nearby Carson to prepare the car for the series’ next round, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca scheduled for May 10 – 12.

GTD. 3 Porsche entries.
Porsche is second in the Manufacturer standings with 634 points, -117 points behind leader Mercedes-AMG.

No. 43 Andretti Motorsports. Andretti/ Chaves
o Point Standings: 6th, 484 points, -241 points to the leader.
o Andretti Motorsports gained three positions in the team standings at Sebring.
o Gabe Chaves won the Indy Lights race at Long Beach in 2014. He has two IndyCar starts on the street circuit
o This will mark the first street race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R for the Andretti team.

No. 86 High Class Racing / MDK Motorsports. Li/ Fjordbach
o Point Standings: 11th, 426 points, -299 points to the leader.
o The No. 86 is a cooperative effort with MDK Motorsports and High Class Racing.
o High Class Racing will utilize the Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) facilities in nearby Carson, California following Long Beach to prepare the No. 86 Porsche for the next round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

No. 120 Wright Motorsports. Adelson/ Skeer
o Point Standings: 3rd, 570 points, -155 points to the leader.
o This is a home race for both Adelson and Skeer. Adelson, a native of Las Vegas, lives and works in Los Angeles while Skeer lives in San Diego.
o Adelson made his first Long Beach start driving in Porsche Carrera Cup North America in 2022.
o The No. 120 Wright Motorsports entry is focused primarily on the IMSA Endurance Championship in 2024. However, the Long Beach round of the full GTD schedule is a home event and favorite of Adelson, encouraging the team to enter the shortest of the WeatherTech races in addition to the five races of six-hours or longer length.

Entry list.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.


Point Standings.

By the Numbers. Porsche In IMSA.
• 599. Number of IMSA victories for Porsche - Combined Chassis/Engine. (Record).
o 247 more than nearest rival Chevrolet.
• 55. Number of Porsche WeatherTech Championship victories (Record).
• 478. Number of IMSA pole positions by Porsche. (Record).
o 115 more than nearest rival Chevrolet.

By the Numbers. Porsche at Long Beach.
• 11.
Porsche-built race cars competing: WeatherTech (7), SRO GT America (4) o WeatherTech – GTP – Porsche 963 – 4 – Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 85.
o WeatherTech – GTD – Porsche 911 GT3 R – 3 – Nos. 43, 86, 120.
o SRO – SRO3 – Porsche 911 GT3 R (type 991.1) – 1 – No. 32
o SRO – GT4 - Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport – 3 – Nos. 7, 098, 099.

• 10. Number of Porsche class wins at Long Beach. Tied with Chevrolet for most in event history.

• 2. Number of overall Porsche victories (2007, 2023) and four additional class wins (2009, ’10, ’16, ‘19) since sports car racing came to Long Beach in 2007.

• 2023. Most recent Porsche class win at Long Beach. GTP class, Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 (Matthieu Jaminet/Nick Tandy).

Porsche has a podium finish under each sports car racing organizer at Long Beach: GrandAm, ALMS and IMSA WeatherTech.

Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) is based in nearby Carson, California. PMNA is headquartered at the second of two Porsche Experience Centers (PECLA) in the United States. The other is in Atlanta, Georgia where Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) has its headquarters.

The Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (PECLA) will host its second annual Motorsport-themed “Morning Shift” car culture event on Sunday morning, April 21. The popular gathering of Porsche enthusiasts will feature several race cars that have come straight from competition at the Grand Prix of Long Beach the afternoon before.

  • Image courtesy of Porsche.