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Qualifying, IMSA, Round 3 at Long Beach
April 20, 2024

  • Porsche Penske Motorsport scores solid grid spots in Long Beach
  • Strong drive from JDC-Miller MotorSports customer team
  • Partner teams qualify among backmarkers with the Porsche 911 GT3 R
  • The 100-minute sprint on Saturday starts at 1:35 pm local time

The No. 6 Porsche 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team heads into the Long Beach city race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from position four. In the 15-minute session, British works driver Nick Tandy qualified on the second grid row. His Porsche teammate Dane Cameron from the USA scored P5 at the wheel of the No. 7 sister car. The customer 963 racers run by JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition tackle race three of 2024 from seventh and tenth place respectively.

Stuttgart. In sunny spring weather and air temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius, the two 513 kW (697 PS) Porsche 963 race cars from the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team topped the timesheets halfway through the qualifying session. In the remaining time, however, both hybrid racing cars from Weissach were unable to match the pace of some of their rivals. Tandy was the only driver to improve his time slightly shortly before the end of qualifying, handing him and his teammate Mathieu Jaminet (France) fourth place.

"We put in a strong performance as a team," says Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. "What I find most satisfying is the fact that we've made significant progress in terms of vehicle balance since last year. Nick and Dane made the most of the potential in qualifying. Our car is pretty easy on the tyres, which makes me confident for tomorrow's race. We aim to win again in Long Beach."

Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm put in an impressive drive at the wheel of the No. 85 car fielded by the JDC-Miller MotorSports customer team. The 20-year-old picked up speed as the qualifying progressed and by the end of the session, he was only two-tenths of a second behind the factory cars in seventh place. Germany's Mike Rockenfeller planted Proton Competition's No. 5 car on the tenth grid spot.

In the GTD class, the customer teams experienced a difficult qualifying with their Porsche 911 GT3 R. The ca. 415 kW (565 PS) GT3 racing vehicles from Wright Motorsports, Andretti Motorsports and MDK Motorsports will contest the city race outside Los Angeles from positions eleven, 13 and 14.

Round three of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season gets underway on Saturday, 20 April at 1:35 pm local time (10:35 pm CEST). The GTP and GTD classes contest the sprint through the streets of Long Beach. The GTD Pro category with AO Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 R will not compete again until round four of the year at Laguna Seca on 12 May.

Drivers' post-qualifying quotes
Nick Tandy (Porsche 963 #6): "All in all, we had a good day. The fact that we have both cars on the first five grid positions makes me optimistic for the race. Once again, the great progress that we've made since last year is obvious. For us, everything ran extremely cleanly and without any issues. Now we're looking forward to an exciting race. There's always a lot going on in Long Beach. After our great Friday, we want to experience an even better Saturday."

Dane Cameron (Porsche 963 #7): "That was my first qualifying in what felt like ages. I've never taken part in a qualifying session in Long Beach so I didn't really know what to expect. It was okay in the end. Compared to 2023, we're significantly closer to the fastest times. Everything needs to run flawlessly on race day: from pit stops to driver changes and strategy. If we can do that, then anything's possible!"

Qualifying result:
GTP class:

1. Derani/Aitken (BR/UK), Cadillac #31, 1:11.388 min.
2. De Phillippi/Yelloly (USA/UK), BMW #25, 1:11.397 min.
3. Bourdais/Van der Zande (F/NL), Cadillac #01, 1:11.411 min.
4. Jaminet/Tandy (F/UK), Porsche 963 #6, 1:11.629 min.
5. Nasr/Cameron (BR/USA), Porsche 963 #7, 1:11.741 min.
7. Van der Helm/Westbrook (NL/UK), Porsche 963 #85, 1:11.930 min.
10. Bruni/Rockenfeller (I/D), Porsche 963 #5, 1:13.143 min.

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