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Tandy: Penske’s 100th Sports Car Win An “Incredible Achievement”

Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet on history-making day for Penske, Porsche at Laguna Seca…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Nick Tandy has hailed Team Penske’s 100th sports car victory as an “incredible achievement” following a weekend to remember for both Roger Penske and Porsche.

Tandy’s late-race pass on Jack Aitken delivered the historic win in Sunday’s Monterey Course de Monterey presented by Hyundai N at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which also marked Porsche’s record-extending 600th and 601st in IMSA competition.

It came in a weekend that also saw Penske clinch its 100th sports car pole, for Saturday’s FIA World Endurance Championship race, as well as ending up on the podium in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps as part of a 1-2 result for the Porsche 963.

“It’s just an incredible achievement,” Tandy said. “It goes with everything Team Penske and Roger and everyone that works there has achieved. It’s just an amazing achievement.

“The fact that we got the 100th pole in Spa on the [WEC] weekend and again the 100th win here in IMSA, in both programs, to get those milestones, is just a huge accomplishment on a weekend, let alone doing 100 of each for an organization.”

Jaminet added: “It’s pretty awesome to bring the 100th win of the Penske team in sports car with Roger here. I think he had a 14-hour struggle to get to here because he was in Spa yesterday watching the [WEC] race and the race finished late.

“It shows the commitment of Roger for this program and for this team and for all of us, the drivers and the trust he puts in this. It’s for sure a bit emotional for us and I think we can be proud of what we have done today and just thank the team.”

Tandy credited early race strategy that got the No. 6 Porsche in contention for the win, followed by the team’s fuel-only final stop, whereas the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R of Jack Aitken took right-side tires.

“I learned very quickly that our car was probably better on the long run than it was on the short run on the restarts,” he said.

“I struggled a lot when the tire was cold and the Cadillac was very good when we were on the restart.

“Conversely then, it showed in the long run that we were very good on the tire in the long run, better than the Cadillacs.

“We opted to go long before the last stop to see what we’ve got in clean air again and the pace was decent so we thought let’s keep the tire and see what we could do.

“In the end we had better pace than the 31 and I think they took two tires and we were still quicker than him.”

Despite being the quicker car on long runs, Tandy admitted that he likely wouldn’t have been able to get around Aitken without the help of traffic.

“In clean air, we had nothing for him because you have to be significantly quicker in a straight fight with these cars to be able to pass on a circuit like Laguna, which is so aero dependent,” he explained.

“I could close to within about a second but as soon as I got within that close, I started to lose tire temperature and pace.

“We were faster so every time we could catch traffic, I knew I had to put pressure on him. If you have a ten-second gap it’s easy to go through traffic.

“You can pick and choose and you don’t have to mess around and you can wait and pass in the exit. But when someone’s pressuring you and they’ve been pressuring you for 20-30 laps, the decisions have to be quicker and more off the cuff.

“Nine times out of ten it’s pretty obvious.

“I feel for Jack. It wasn’t obvious what was going to happen when there were two cars fighting. He picked one side just as they started to go that way and I had the grandstand seat to see where they were going and managed to go the other way and take the lead.

“Without that pressure being put on, it’s too easy to keep the lead. That’s part of racing.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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