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Porsche Gambles and Wins for First GTP Win at Long Beach

Tandy, Jaminet give Porsche its first win for the new 963 GTP!

Penske Porsche Motorsport used a bold strategy to secure the win in Saturday's IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach opting to not change tires during the one and only pit stop during the race. The strategy allowed Mathieu Jaminet to hold off a hard charging Acura driven by Ricky Taylor in the closing laps to secure the first win of the new for 2023 Porsche 963 GTP.

The opening half of the race saw the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 driven by Filipe Albuquerque build a healthy lead over the No. 6 Porsche 963 Nick Tandy before the Acura dove into the pits for service. During the pit stop, an issue with the driver change cost the No. 10 valuable time, relegating them to fifth after the pit stops were completed. This handed the lead to the No. 6 Penske Porsche, followed by the No. 7 team car. Both Penske Porsche teams opted to not change tires during their one and only pit stop, giving them valuable track position on the competition.

(Penske Motorsports)

Even with a deficit of over twelve seconds, Ricky Taylor charged through the GTP field on fresh tires cutting the lead down lap after lap. With under ten minutes remaining, Taylor caught and passed the No. 7 Penske Porsche 963 of Matt Campbell and set his sites on the leading Porsche. With two laps to go, Taylor made a bold move into turn one for the lead, but carried too much speed into the corner resulting in the No. 10 Acura ending up in the tire barriers. The race would be yellow flagged soon after handing the win to the No. 6 Porsche.

The No. 25 BMW of Nick Yelloly and Connor De Philippi finished in second which secured their second consecutive runner up finish in a row. Rounding out the podium was the No. 7 Penske Porsche of Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell. The No. 26 BMW of Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus finished in fourth while the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac of Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims finished in fifth. Sims pitted the No. 31 on lap seven of the race and handed the car over to Derani to finish the race hoping for a caution to move them up the order. The alternative strategy did not work out, as the race remained caution free until only two laps remained.

The hopes of Chip Ganassi Racing winning yet again at Long Beach were over on the first lap, as trouble truck the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R of Sebastien Bourdais before the first turn of the race. Bourdais spun the car going into turn one, resulted in a heavy front end impact ending their race early. The incident also cost the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura lap as the Tom Blomqvist spun the car and could not re-fire it. The No. 60 would finish in sixth one lap down.

(Vasser Sullivan Racing)

After qualifying on pole in GTD-Pro, the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 claimed class honors with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat behind the wheel. Hawksworth held a commanding lead heading into pit stop sequence of the race handing the car over to Barnicoat for the final stint. Barnicoat extended the lead early on in his stink, but was run down by the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche. Barnicoat help off both cars, securing the win for Vasser Sullivan and Lexus. Second went to the No. 3 Corvette C8.R GTD of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia while the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche GT3 R (992) of Klaus Bachler and Patrick Pilet finished in third.

(Daily Sports Car)

Paul Miller Racing extended their dominance at Long Beach in the GTD class, securing their third consecutive class victory on the California street circuit. The win for the No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 driven by Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow came after the Paul Miller Racing team elected to overcut their nearest competitors. This strategy allowed them to come out of the pits right in front of eventual second place finishers Heart of Racing to secure the win for the BMW squad. The No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which held the lead early from pole, finished in second with Roman De Angelis and Marco Sorenson at the wheel. Completing the podium in GTD was the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus of Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo.

The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship stays out west for the MOTUL Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N May 12th through May 14th at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

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