Newgarden co-drove in the 10-hour sportscar classic, which ended the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship on Saturday, with Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell in a Porsche Penske Motorsport 963. They finished fourth in the LMDh machine, which also races in the World Endurance Championship with the factory Penske squad.
When asked if he’d like to race at Le Mans, Newgarden replied: “I would love to. I think any racer would love the opportunity to compete at Le Mans. First and foremost, this event [Petit Le Mans] is also on that list, so to start here is a great honor.
“It’s a lot of new things for me, driving the car, the circuit type, and obviously the racing style. This was a big opportunity, but for the future, of course, there’s a lot of races I’d love to do so we’ll have to wait and see.
“I just feel really, really positive about the miles and the experience this weekend. Lots to take away for the future, feeling good about that. I’ve done a lot of work here. I think it’ll pay off for the future.”
#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07: John Farano, Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden, Kyffin Simpson
Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images
Newgarden’s previous sportscar experience came from the season-opening Daytona 24 Hours, where he finished fifth in the LMP2 class, sharing a Tower Motorsports Oreca with IndyCar team-mate Scott McLaughlin.
But this step up in class meant he was able to contend for the overall race win, potentially opening the door to more races in the Porsche.
“The team has done a tremendous job all year and I just wanna plug in and be a small contributing factor, hopefully in a positive way,” Newgarden said.
“I’m a big fan of this team, I wanna see Porsche succeed and would love to have, you know, more opportunities and to be a part of it and help the growth.
“So, I’m looking to do that.”
#7 Team Penske Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Felipe Nasr, Josef Newgarden
Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
When Motorsport.com asked Team Penske’s president Tim Cindric whether Newgarden or his other IndyCar drivers, McLaughlin and Will Power, could drive the 963 at the Le Mans 24 Hours in future, he said he didn’t see it happening any time soon.
“That’s too far down the road,” said Cindric. “I don’t see Le Mans being in the program, I think that’s a stretch. We got enough drivers right now.”
PPM’s Jonathan Diuguid told Motorsport.com that the reason for including Newgarden was “to try to see what he could add to the group” and when asked if McLaughlin or Power could be involved too, he replied: “They haven’t done any testing but as for what the future holds, it’s quite open.
“Obviously we have four cars running permanently in the championships and we’re looking at third entries where they’re granted and available. But, right now, there are no plans for any additional drives for any Penske IndyCar drivers.”