Penske targets Le Mans after Porsche Daytona 24 Hours win

Penske’s No. 7 963, crewed by Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden and Felipe Nasr, scored a narrow victory over Cadillac – recording Porsche’s 19th overall win here.

Team Penske has two prior sportscar victories at Daytona: a 1966 GT/GTO class win and the overall prize in 1969, when Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons enjoyed a 30-lap cushion at the finish in a Lola T70-Chevrolet.

“It’s hard for me to believe it,” Penske, 86, told IMSA Radio. “This is one of the biggest wins we’ve had, now we’ve got to go for the big one at Le Mans, you know that.”

When asked about his last success here, he told NBC: “When you think about 1969, we went here with a Lola. Things were a lot different in those days, but just to think about today, the biggest crowd they’ve had here for a sports car race.

“My hat’s off to IMSA, obviously for Porsche to give us the equipment, but the drivers and at the end there with Felipe. But just to see the competitiveness and six or seven tenths of a second was a difference after 24 hours.

“It’s unbelievable.”

When asked straight after the race by if he felt more pressure to conquer Le Mans in June now that it has won at Daytona, Porsche Motorsport’s director of factory racing Urs Kuratle replied: “Ask me tomorrow if it’s more or less pressure!

“The good thing is that we know the car can do it, I think we quite impressively showed that all four cars made it through the race with no major technical issues, that helps us a lot.

“But also it’s not a secret that we are not completely there yet, there’s still a lot to do for us towards Le Mans and all the other races.”

#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

#7 Team Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden

Penske’s managing director Jonathan Diuguid paid tribute to his No. 7 driving squad in the way they delivered this landmark victory for the team.

“A lot was made about the four-driver line up we had in both cars,” he said. “The fact that all four of our [winning] drivers led the race at some point shows you how strong they were all day long.

“The No. 7 car and the No. 6 were in contention to win the race, Felipe carried it across the finish line but not a single one of these guys put a foot wrong all day, and that’s what put us in the position to win.”


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