Porsche had a tough Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with its pair of new-for-2023 963s finishing 7th and 8th in the GTP class and its 911 GT3 R duo managing one place better in the GTD Pro category with 6th and 7th place finishes.
In the GTP class the #7 car, driven by Matt Campbell, Filipe Nasr and Michael Christensen required a replacement of its high-voltage battery which pushed it down the field and further attention was required to its damaged cooling system. The trio completed 749 laps, 34 laps behind the winning #60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06.
The #6 car, piloted by Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet and Dane Cameron, suffered a spin in the hands of the British driver which cost Tandy three laps. Sunday morning saw the #6 car back to within striking distance of the front-runners before gearbox problem forced retirement after 700 laps.
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport, was philosophical in defeat and already looking towards Round Two at Sebring.
“We’re disappointed, no question about it.” said Laudenbach. “After just five hours, the #7 car was thrown out of contention for victory due to an issue with the high-voltage system. Later, our #6 suffered damage to the powertrain. We experienced several problems but at the same time, we were able to learn a great deal.
“The good thing is we know where we stand and what we need to work on. We’ll now prepare systematically for the next race at Sebring in March.”
Porsche Director of Factory Motorsport Urs Kuratle was quick to congratulate the winners as well as the team and its partners for their efforts in getting the new 963s to the grid.
“Firstly, congratulations to Acura on winning the maiden race in the new GTP era,” he said. “We were hoping for more mostly because we managed to set a fantastic pace at times. I’d like to thank Multimatic and all other partners. It’s been a long road for us all and we’ve finally arrived at the start of the GTP class.
“We deserved a better result – however we’ve learned a lot which we will now consistently implement.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship grid next assembles at Sebring International Raceway on March 15.