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Newgarden joins Porsche's IMSA line-up for Petit Le Mans

Two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden will make his first appearance for Porsche Penske Motorsport in the Petit Le Mans round of IMSA SportsCar Championship.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

Newgarden will share the #7 Porsche 963 LMDh car with Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr in the IMSA season-finale at Road Atlanta on October 14.

It follows Newgarden’s maiden IMSA outing in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, where he drove an Oreca 07 entered by Tower Motorsport to fifth in class alongside fellow IndyCar ace Scott McLaughlin, Kyffin Simpson and John Farano.

Newgarden, who has scored his IndyCar titles and his sole Indy 500 triumph with the Penske squad that has partnered with Porsche for its works LMDh program, has publicly stated his desire to compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the future with the revered German marque.

He tested Porsche’s first prototype racer since the legendary 919 Hybrid at Road America in June.

“I have a lot of respect and admiration for both the Penske and Porsche brands, and the combination between the two through Porsche Penske Motorsport is a dream scenario for any racing car driver and is an absolute honor to be a part of,” said Newgarden.

“Watching the dedicated teams build this program from the ground up over the last couple of years has been exciting to watch, and seeing both Porsche 963 get wins this year and compete for championships shows that all the hard work has paid off. 

“My goal is to add to the program and help support the tremendous efforts that Porsche Penske Motorsport have put in place. With some good fortune, I’m sure we can turn effort into results together.”

#6 Team Penske Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet

#6 Team Penske Porsche 963: Nick Tandy, Mathieu Jaminet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Porsche Penske Motorsport also announced that Laurens Vanthoor, who is part of its full-season World Endurance Championship programme, will join Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet in the sister #6 car.

This would be Vanthoor’s first IMSA outing of 2023 since he took a GTD Pro win in a Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R at Sebring in March.

Vanthoor, along with Andre Lotterer and Kevin Estre, guided Porsche to what has been its only podium so far in WEC 2023 at Portimao.

“I’m really excited to compete with the team’s IMSA program and help them wrap up their season, as they try and attain both the team and manufacture championships,” said the Belgian. 

“I feel like my experience at the track will help, and working closely with Nick, Mathieu and the entire team will help myself gain even more perspective of the overall organization as we wrap up the WEC season in Bahrain at the beginning of October.”

Tandy and Jaminet are currently Porsche’s lead representatives in the GTP drivers' standings in fourth place, 98 points down on Wayne Taylor Racing Acura duo Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor.

Campbell and Nasr sit seventh in the standings following their maiden GTP victory last time out at Road Atlanta, which was Porsche’s second win of the season following Tandy and Jaminet’s breakthrough triumph at Long Beach.

“Porsche Penkse Motorsport has chosen to add Laurens Vanthoor and Josef Newgarden to our Petit Le Mans line up,“ said Managing Director, Jonathan Diuguid. 

“Laurens has raced at Road Atlanta in the Porsche 911 RSR and he will be able to add his experience from racing in the WEC for PPM. 

“Josef brings a different dynamic as this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner, it will be something very exciting for the team as well as himself. 

“Josef has increased his exposure to sportscar racing already in 2023 with a test in the Team Penske LMP2, as well as raced in Daytona in 2023. 

“In addition, he got his first exposure to the 963 in early June at Road America. With several testing days for the team at Road Atlanta, we are confident that both Laurens and Josef will be fully prepared to deliver for the team and have a positive result in the final race of the season.”

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