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Setup Overhaul Sent Winning Pfaff Car “Into the Unknown”

Pfaff drivers reflect on Road America GTD win despite being “not in a happy place” on Friday…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R claimed its second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of the season despite a major setup overhaul on Friday which sent the car “into the unknown”.

Matt Campbell and Zach Robichon secured GT Daytona class honors at Road America after qualifying in the top five, but entered the weekend with limited expectations. 

“When we got here this weekend we were not in a happy place,” Robichon told Sportscar365.

“The guys stayed here super late on Friday night changing everything. We changed everything but the engine because we were really struggling with the car.

“We changed it all before qualifying, so we were going into the unknown.

“We had only done five laps with the setup we raced with, so it was a testament to the hard work of the engineering crew and the team [to win].”

Campbell added: “We were struggling with the balance of the car, front to rear. It was never balanced; we were always fighting the car too much and asking too much of it.

“We really struggled at the start of the weekend, and even before the warmup we still didn’t know what we had. Going into the race, it was quite a big unknown but, in the end, it worked out well.”

Pfaff’s win came after Campbell leapfrogged the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Bryan Sellers and Corey Lewis at the team’s second and final pit stop.

At the start, Robichon moved up to third position with a first-lap overtake on the Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3.

The Canadian driver was then promoted to second when the leading Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3 hit trouble, before handing over to Campbell at the first opportunity.

Campbell continued to run behind the leading Paul Miller Lamborghini but resisted any overtake attempts because of Pfaff’s strategic plan for the final pit cycle, which required the Porsche factory Young Professional to stay out a lap longer than Sellers.

“When I jumped in the car, I think we were five or six seconds behind,” said the Australian, who went on to build a five-second advantage at the end.

“We caught the Lamborghini quite quickly but then I knew we wouldn’t have been able to get past. It would have been too much of a risk and we would have hurt the tires too much.

“We really just tried to save fuel and then used that to our advantage to jump them in the last pit stop, to be able to short fill a little bit.

“We knew we had good pace. I don’t think we were much faster than the Lamborghini, but we certainly had our strengths in other areas.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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