The Porsche 963 returns to the stage for its first race victory

The Porsche 963 returns to the stage for its first race victory

This coming Saturday (April 20), Porsche Penske Motorsport will compete in the streets of Long Beach with two Porsche 963s. In 2023, the hybrid model of the German sports car brand scored its first victory on the spectacular road circuit.


Porsche travels to the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar season as the series leader. Thanks to its victory in the season opener at Daytona and another podium result at Sebring, Porsche Penske Motorsport is the joint leader at the top of the manufacturers’ standings heading into the Long Beach race.

After the 24-hour race at Daytona and the twelve-hour race at Sebring, Long Beach will host a short 100-minute race. Last year the IMSA team showed its full potential here. British driver Nick Tandy and France’s Mathieu Jaminet took the Porsche 963’s first race win thanks to the team’s good tactical play. The outfit now aims to repeat this success next weekend.

“The Long Beach race was a big milestone for us last year. The first win with our new car, both cars on the podium – just amazing,” recalls Thomas Laudenbach. Vice President of Porsche Motorsport added: “Our goal is to repeat the success that and defend our championship lead. After two real long distance races, we now face a short race on an attractive road circuit. The situation is completely different from Daytona and Sebring, but we are fully prepared.

Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport, Long Beach, 2024, Porsche AG

Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport

“The roads of Long Beach are a special place for the Porsche Penske Motorsport team. It is here that we took the first ever win for the Porsche 963,” explains Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport. structure and will require the full execution of the team and drivers to repeat last year’s victory. Our global team has been working at a very high level in 2024, and we look forward to the next challenge.

Jonathan Diuguid, CEO of Porsche Penske Motorsport, Long Beach, 2024, Porsche AG

Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director of Porsche Penske Motorsport


The Long Beach Grand Prix circuit hosts the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The 3.167 km road circuit has eleven turns and is considered the American equivalent of the Monaco Grand Prix. The Long Beach Street Course runs clockwise around the Convention Center. Its special features include a start-finish sweep along the Pacific coast and a sharp right-hander at the end of the lap.

Along with the Detroit Grand Prix in June, races of just over 100 minutes are the shortest races of the year. The temporary circuit has been used as a racetrack since 1975 and hosted Formula 1 eight times between 1976 and 1983. On the third weekend in April, the famous American IndyCar series will also be contested in Long Beach, where Penske Motorsport is represented by three cars. .

Drivers’ comments before the race

Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 963 #6): “Since the end of last year, we have had bad luck with our number 6 car – on the way to success, we were hampered by one thing or another in the final of the 2023 season and in the first two races of this year. Let’s hope that changes. Months twelve years ago we won at Long Beach. At that time we were at the end of the tread. This season we are competing with the new product from Michelin. I am looking forward to the race home with as big a trophy as possible at the end.”

Dane Cameron (Porsche 963 #7): “After the two longest races of the year, now comes the shortest race of the whole season. That’s always a bit of a shock on the IMSA calendar. I really like the special challenges that the Long Beach street circuit gives us. In 2023 I was racing in the FIA ​​WEC and so I missed this race – a big shame. A narrow circuit takes no prisoners when you make mistakes. If we go clear, we hope to have a chance to score our second win of the season.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 963 #5): “The last time I was in Long Beach was in 2010. Back then the race series was still called the American Le Mans Series – that was a long time ago! Finally, I get the chance to push a Porsche 963 to the limit on a street circuit. The track is full of tradition and wonderful Just driving the Le Mans prototype will be very interesting. I need to prepare for the spin course in the future. I’m very excited to see what we can achieve there.”

Richard Westbrook (Porsche 963 #85): “Long Beach is something completely different than the venues of the first two races of the season. But there is a similarity when it comes to the setup: the track is almost as bad as Sebring but the road circuit does not have many changes of direction. The race lasts only 100 minutes so it is not an event Our GTP cars can run about 55 minutes per lap so I expect it will be a regular one-stop race for everyone – it’s a shame because this will leave little room for different strategies. Tire durability is the focus .In Long Beach, I hope we can maintain the same good pace as in Sebring.

Mathieu Jaminet (F), Porsche Penske Motorsport (#6), Long Beach, 2024, Porsche AG

Mathieu Jaminet (F)

Dane Cameron (USA), Porsche Penske Motorsport (#7), Long Beach, 2024, Porsche AG

Dane Cameron (USA)

Gianmaria Bruni (I), Proton Competition (#5), Long Beach, 2024, Porsche AG

Gianmaria Bruni (I)

Richard Westbrook (UK), JDC-Miller MotorSports (#85), Long Beach, 2024, Porsche AG

Richard Westbrook (England)

Overview of drivers and teams

GTP Class (Porsche 963)
Proton Racing #5: Gianmaria Bruni (I) / Mike Rockenfeller (D)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #6: Mathieu Jaminet (F) / Nick Tandy (UK)
Porsche Penske Motorsport #7: Dane Cameron (USA) / Felipe Nasr (BR)
JDC-Miller MotorSports #85: Tijmen van der Helm (NL) / Richard Westbrook (UK)

GTD Class (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Andretti Motorsports #43: Jarett Andretti (USA) / Gabby Chaves (COL)
MDK Motorsports #86: Anders Fjordbach (DK) / Kerong Li (CHN)
Wright Motorsports #120: Adam Adelson (USA) / Elliott Skeer (USA)

Schedule (local time, hours CEST -9)

Friday, 19 April
09:00 – 10:00: Free practice 1
12:50 – 14:20: Free practice 2
17:00 – 17:15: GTD qualifying class
17:25 hrs – 17:40 hrs: GTP qualifying class

Saturday, 20 April
13:35 hrs – 15:15 hrs: Race