Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Winning Le Mans and Daytona in the identical yr can be 'amazing'

The Penske factory squad heads to the blue ribbon round of the World Endurance Championships at Circuit de la Sarthe this week with the highest prize in mind as they give the impression of being to proceed the success they’ve enjoyed to this point in 2024.

Porsche Penske Motorsport's IMSA SportsCar Championship division kicked off its season with a memorable classic victory at Daytona in January, while the WEC side won its opener in Qatar and leads the championship heading into Daytona.

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Michael Christensen, who shares the number 5 Porsche 963 with Matt Campbell and Frederic Makowiecki, believes that taking top positions within the two biggest sports automobile races of the yr can be a really significant achievement for the Volkswagen Group brand and its partner Penske.

“It will be amazing,” the Dane told Motorsport.com. “Honestly, there are plenty of things that may be cool to be a component of. I actually dream of winning this race for Porsche Penske Motorsport.

“It can be Porsche's twentieth victory overall and Roger Penske's first victory at Le Mans. And you understand how successful Roger was.

“So this will be a milestone for Roger and for Porsche, and also for us drivers. So it would be a dream for all of us.”

On the prospect of Porsche achieving double endurance success, the driving force of the #6 Porsche, Laurens Vanthoor, added: “It can be something really big if we are able to do it. Also for Penske. So it's going to be quite an iconic yr if we are able to achieve Do It.”

#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki

#5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Matt Campbell, Michael Christensen, Frederic Makowiecki

Photo: Alexander Trienitz

It's been over thirty years since an automaker celebrated victories at Daytona and Le Mans in the identical yr; in 1990, Jaguar won two major enduro races with its Group C-spec XJR-12.

Porsche last achieved success in each races in 1987, when Al Holbert and Derek Bell were a part of the winning line-up in each IMSA and the then World Sportscar Championship.

LMDh Porsche director Urs Kuratle said it was natural for people to expect the German manufacturer to win the endurance race given its pedigree, but there was plenty of motivation within the camp to deliver a breakthrough result this weekend.

“That's what we've been working on for a year, to win here at Le Mans,” Kuratle told Motorsport.com.

“To win Daytona, to win Le Mans, on Monday after the race you’ll ask me how essential it’s to win the championship?!

“Of course, relating to Porsche in endurance racing, you desire to win, you’ve gotten to win and you must win every race because that could be very essential.

“So once you win a trophy for the primary time, you’ve gotten to win the trophy a second time, after which you’ve gotten to win a 3rd time to maintain the trophy again.

“Yes, that's good, but that's also the pressure should you're competing with Porsche and in addition with Penske.

“Penske really delivered [a lot] this yr with [Indy] 500 and all these races. It can be very nice to win against Penske and against Porsche and Penske.

“Let's not forget about Roger too, give this to Roger too. He really wants to win 24-hour races. It is an added incentive for everyone to work hard to achieve this with brands.”

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