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Porsche Penske Team Finishes 1-2 at Battle on the Bricks

Sunday, September 17, 2023 Paul Kelly, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Porsche Penske Motorsport

Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race for Porsche Penske Motorsport on Sunday at IMS.

It doesn’t get more “Penske perfect” than the inaugural Battle on the Bricks on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Porsche Penske Motorsport completed a weekend sweep of the return of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to IMS for the first time since 2014. The No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport team of Nick Tandy of Great Britain and Mathieu Jaminet of France led a 1-2 finish for the team owned by IMS owner Roger Penske, beating the No. 7 Porsche 963 shared by pole sitter Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr by 17.421 seconds.

The victory polished off a magical weekend for Porsche Penske Motorsport. Campbell and Nasr led both practice sessions and drove to the pole before Tandy and Jaminet – who qualified second – stepped forward to take the checkered flag in the race.

“Man, we just won at the Brickyard,” Tandy said. “Awesome. Penske’s home ground, a massive race for Porsche and Porsche Penske. Just mega. What a drive by this guy (Jaminet).”

Teams that also compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES filled all three spots on the overall and Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class podium, as Nick Yelloly and Connor De Phillippi finished third in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL prototype fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Tandy and Jaminet’s win also gave Team Penske two victories this season at IMS. Josef Newgarden earned his first Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge victory and Team Penske’s record-extending 19th victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in May. Team Penske President Tim Cindric served as the race-winning strategist for Newgarden in May and Tandy and Jaminet today.

“With our organization, it all started with sports car racing,” Cindric said. “A lot of people don’t realize that. To continue to be successful at the highest level and to do it at Indy is cool. It’s certainly icing on the cake after winning the Indy 500 here.”

The No. 6 or No. 7 car led for the first hour of the two-hour, 40-minute race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course, losing the top spot when Pipo Derani took the lead under caution about an hour into the race when the two Penske prototypes hesitated while the prototypes were placed at the front of the pack. IMSA rules allowed Derani to pass the leaders if they hesitated to tuck in behind the pace car.

But about 40 minutes later, with 62 minutes remaining, Derani locked his wheels and overshot Turn 1 while leading in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R. Both the No. 7 and No. 6 Penske Porsches, in close pursuit, squirted past to take the top two spots. Tandy then challenged teammate Nasr for the lead in a spirited joust over a handful of laps, with Brazilian driver Nasr clinging to the top spot.

Pit strategy then played a vital role in ensuring the victory for Tandy and Jaminet.

With 46 minutes remaining, Nasr pitted for the last time, elevating Tandy to the lead. Tandy pitted one lap later in an “overcut” strategy that worked perfectly. Nasr went wide and into the grass in Turn 7 on cold tires during his out lap after his final stop, and quick service by the Porsche Penske Motorsport crew on the No. 6 car helped Tandy exit the pits with a healthy lead that he never lost.

That lead grew to 8.057 seconds with 35 minutes left. But it wasn’t a stroll on Easy Street to the podium for the two Penske prototypes in the closing laps, as the speed differential between the five classes in WeatherTech Championship competition created some fraught moments in traffic for both cars.

Nasr had a close call with about 10 minutes remaining, making contact in Turn 7 while lapping the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) car driven by Dakota Dickerson.

Tandy had to deftly split the No. 78 Forte Racing Powered by US RaceTronics Lamborghini Huracan of Loris Spinelli and the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Bryan Sellers with 3.5 minutes remaining as they dueled in their own race for second in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.

In the other four classes of racing, Steven Thomas and Mikkel Jensen drove the No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA to victory in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class by 19.909 seconds over the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA of Dan Goldburg and Louis Deletraz.

Wayne Boyd and Anthony Mantella guided the No. 17 AWA Duqueine to victory in LMP3 by 12.755 seconds over the No. 74 Riley Ligier of Gar Robinson and Josh Burdon.

The finishing gaps were closer in the production-based GT Daytona PRO (GTD PRO) and GTD classes.

Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon drove the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 to GTD PRO victory by 4.394 seconds over the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas.

Russell Ward and Philip Ellis capped a stirring race for GTD honors in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3, beating the No. 78 Lamborghini of Spinelli and co-driver Misha Goikhberg by 1.268 seconds. Those two cars and the No. 1 BMW of Sellers engaged in a spirited duel for the class lead late in the race, complete with contact between Ellis and Spinelli.

Ward and Ellis’ win also completed a weekend sweep for Winward Racing, which also won the Michelin Pilot Challenge series race Saturday evening at IMS with drivers Daniel Morad and Bryce Ward, Russell Ward’s father.