Porsche Penske Motorsport’s 1-2 finish in the Battle of the Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been “a day for the history books” according to Mathieu Jaminet, who along with Nick Tandy claimed victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s return to The Brickyard.
The co-drivers of the No. 6 Porsche 963 put themselves back in the GTP class championship fight with their second victory of the season, in a race that was controlled by the German manufacturer.
“It’s a great day for Porsche, for the whole team,” said Jaminet. “It’s the first 1-2 for the Porsche Penske operation between WEC and IMSA so I think it’s a day for the history books for us. We’re really pleased for it.”
Tandy, who took the car to the checkered flag, said Sunday’s win was “two-fold” in not only claiming victory at the Roger Penske-owned track but it also coming at a pivotal point in the championship run.
“To come here to a venue like this, especially for Porsche Penske Motorsport and all of the ties that Penske Corporation have with this place, is massive,” said Tandy.
“It means a huge amount and the fact that it’s a team 1-2 makes it even sweeter.
“From a manufacturers’ championship point of view, it’s massive. Obviously the second part of this is the points situation and it being the penultimate round.
“I said before the weekend, we realistically needed to win here to have a decent shot going into Atlanta and it’s given us a chance, at the end of the day.
“It’s given the team a chance of winning a championship in Atlanta, it’s amazing.
“I was really, really pleased to cross that yard [of bricks]. It was an emotional moment for sure.”
Tandy and Jaminet now sit third in the GTP points standings, just five points from the lead ahead of next month’s title-deciding Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Having won on the road at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, a post-race technical infraction stripped Jaminet and Tandy of victory at Watkins Glen earlier this year, something the Frenchman said has affected him until now.
“Honestly I’ve been very disappointed since Watkins Glen; we’ve only had pretty much bad races,” Jaminet said.
“Looking at it, it still hurts. To finally get a win back, and it puts us back in the championship hunt, it really feels good. I’m just hungry for more, to be honest.
“I just want to go to Road Atlanta now and race.”
Both the Nos. 6 and 7 Porsches overcame a setback early in the second hour when IMSA race control deemed that the two cars did not follow instructions for the class split in a timely fashion.
Tandy and the then second-placed No. 7 Porsche of Felipe Nasr dropped to second and third, respectively, on the restart, behind the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R of Pipo Derani, who led 27 laps until getting passed by Nasr for the lead.
“I was a little late getting the call to go but I already pulled out in line to initiate the class split,” Tandy explained. “I went for it. But at the same time, the 31 had already started accelerating and did pass us before we made the class split.
“I maintained my position. We had hopefully done the procedure correct. They had obviously thought they’d done the procedure correctly.
“It was obviously ruled by race control that the 31 should be in front. It compromised a little bit of both our tire warmup by being side by side for two laps. That was the situation.”
Kuratle: 1-2 Finish the “Best Result Possible” for Porsche
The result not only put Tandy and Jaminet back in the drivers’ championship hunt but also has placed Porsche into the points lead of the GTP manufacturers’ championship with one round to go.
“First and second is the best result imaginable,” said Porsche LMDh factory director Urs Kuratle. “To be able to experience such a success in Indianapolis at Roger Penske’s home race with him in the pits is something very special.
“The race was virtually perfect for us. We briefly lost ground during the safety car phase, but countered this again on the track.
“We’re now leading in the manufacturers’ championship, and, in third place, we still have good chances of clinching the team and drivers’ championship. That was a wonderful weekend. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this.”