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Porsche Penske Starts Strong in Battle on the Bricks

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, Sept. 15, 2023) – Matt Campbell did the boss proud as this weekend’s Battle on the Bricks, the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in nine years, got underway.

Campbell co-drives the No. 7 Porsche 963 of Porsche Penske Motorsport, a team owned by Roger Penske, who also owns IMS. Their car is one of 10 competing this weekend in Grand Touring Prototype (GTP), the sanctioning body’s top class staging its first season. Penske also fields the No. 6 car, also a Porsche 963, for co-drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy.

Campbell shares the No. 7 with Felipe Nasr, and they won the series’ most-recent race, Aug. 6 at Road America.

“Boss’ racetrack, so there are high expectations this weekend to be able to perform very well and to try to get a good result here, especially carrying on from our recent race,” Campbell said. “Generally, our car was quite good. (We) struggled a bit (late) in the session but then toward the end we were reasonably happy.”

Campbell’s best lap was timed at 1 minute, 15.184 seconds. Tandy gave the No. 6 car its best lap, which was eighth overall at 1:16.055.

The GTP division featuring hybrid-electrified powertrains paired with internal combustion engines in each car figures to produce the overall winner in Sunday’s race of two hours and 40 minutes (1:10 p.m. ET). That bodes well for the Porsche Penskes, but drivers in North America’s elite sports car class face stiff competition at the Racing Capital of the World.

Each of the four competing manufacturers – Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche – has won at least one race this season, and each has a car in the top four in the standings. Meanwhile, there will be 48 cars of different speeds among the event’s five classes on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. That means the fastest cars must efficiently navigate traffic.

“Sometimes it’s smart to be patient and wait,” Campbell said overtaking cars in the slower classes.

The weekend’s second practice of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is Saturday at 8:55 a.m. Qualifying begins at 1 p.m.

GTP is one of the four classes introduced since the last IMSA race at IMS in 2014. Featured in the class are NTT INDYCAR SERIES veterans Sebastien Bourdais, a four-time series champion in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing entry, and Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Acura ARX-06. Their cars were third and sixth, respectively, in the initial 90-minute practice. Bourdais was part of the winning team in the first sports car race held at IMS in 2012, and he won again in 2013.

The Le Mans Prototype 2 class (LMP2) featuring Oreca LMP2 07 machines was led by Mikkel Jensen, who posted a lap of 1:17.231 seconds in the No. 11 of TDS Racing. Among the seven participants in the class are Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge veterans Ed Jones (High Class Racing) and Ben Hanley (Crowdstrike Racing by APR). Hanley’s No. 04 car is one of three fighting for the championship with two races remaining. It was third in class in this practice; Jones’ car was fifth.

The No. 30 Jr III Racing entry featuring INDY NXT by Firestone driver Nolan Siegel and Garett Grist led the first action of Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) with a lap of 1:20.737. The class has nine competitors this weekend.

GT Daytona Pro (GTD Pro) and GT Daytona (GTD) feature a combined 22 entries. Among the drivers are “500” veterans Jack Hawksworth (Vasser Sullivan), Gabby Chaves (paired with Jarett Andretti at Andretti Autosport) and Katherine Legge (Gradient Racing).

Hawksworth co-drove to victory in the Prototype Challenge class here in 2014, and he set the early pace here as the series points leader with a lap of 1:23.636 in the No. 14 Lexus.

“It’s awesome to be back (at IMS),” he said. “I walked in here yesterday and (was reminded) it’s a special place. I did the track walk and to see the stands and all that kind of stuff was pretty cool. As a major sports car series in the U.S., IMSA needs to be here, and we’re back. It’s exciting and getting on the track today was a lot of fun.”

All five manufacturers – Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Lexus, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche – have won at least one GT race among the nine this season, and none have won more than twice.

Robert Wickens, who drove in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2018, is one of those drivers to watch in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, which stages its four-hour race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 240, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET. He drives the No. 33 Hyundai Elantra of Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian in the Touring Car (TCR) class.

Qualifying for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race is at 11 a.m. Fans are welcome to participate in a pre-race grid walk at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets and information for the Battle on the Bricks are available at Public pedestrian gates open Saturday at 7:30 a.m. (Gates 1, 2, 4, 6S and 7S).



8-8:15 a.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Qualifying 1

8:20-8:35 a.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Qualifying 2

8:55-10:25 a.m. WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice 1 (GTD, LMP2, LMP3)

9:10-10:40 a.m. WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice 1 (GTP, GTD PRO)

11-11:15 a.m. Michelin Pilot Challenge Qualifying (TCR)

11:20-11:35 a.m. Michelin Pilot Challenge Qualifying (GS)

11:50 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Race 1

1-1:15 p.m. WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Qualifying (GTD PRO, GTD)

1:25-1:40 p.m. WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Qualifying (LMP2, LMP3)

1:50-2:10 p.m. WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Qualifying (GTP)

2:30-3:10 p.m. Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup Race 1

4:30-8:30 p.m. Indianapolis Motor Speedway 240 Michelin Pilot Challenge Race

Sunday, Sept. 17

9:40-10:20 a.m. Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup Race 2

10:40-11:30 a.m. Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Race 2

1:10-3:50 p.m. Battle on the Bricks WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race

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