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Roger Penske: 100th sportscar win puts team “back on track”

Legendary team boss Roger Penske says his storied team’s 100th sportscar victory shows it is back on track after a “tough couple of weeks”.

Roger Penske, Porsche Penske Motorsport

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Penske suspended four senior members of his IndyCar team last week – including his right-hand man Tim Cindric – following multiple disqualifications from the opening round of the series in St Petersburg due to illegal software and use of the push-to-pass system that contravened the rules.

Ironically, the IndyCar team suspension meant Cindric was on site for the IMSA weekend at Laguna Seca, where he was joined by Penske – who flew in from Saturday’s World Endurance Championship round at Spa.

“Well, for Team Penske, obviously, we've had a tough couple of weeks but, you know, we're a strong team,” Penske told NBC. “We've got great people and I'm behind all of them.

“To see that Porsche win at Laguna Seca, one of my favorite tracks, is amazing. The team effort today… I was in Belgium yesterday [WEC on Saturday], and saw the same team effort there, and certainly at Indy with Will [Power, who finished runner-up in the IndyCar Series race].

“We're back on track here and I'm thinking about going forward.”

Penske scored its 100th sportscar pole position at Spa, which it inherited from an underweight Ferrari, and then Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy recorded its 100th victory at Laguna Seca on Sunday.

“We've got a deep bench,” added Penske. “People that care, people know we can be winners and I think that we've shown with the sportscar program over the last couple of years, and we're focusing on Le Mans now.”

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Tandy snatched victory at Laguna inside the final 12 minutes from Cadillac rival Jack Aitken, when his fellow Brit got blocked in traffic.

Before then, Tandy had been gifted the lead when Aitken didn’t react in time to the class split under the only caution period of the race. But Tandy locked up at the Andretti Hairpin and allowed Aitken to repass him almost immediately.

“I can't believe how many mistakes I made,” said Tandy. “It's just unbelievable. I owed it to the rest of everybody here to make up for it.

“We were not good on cold tires, but it showed at the end, on the long run on a double stint on the tires, the car was just absolutely flying.

“Not one of my finest races but I'll take it because we've done some awesome races and not had any results. So, it's about time we had a result.”

Team-mate Jaminet added: “We didn’t have a great start to the season, we were a little bit disappointed, a little bit pissed on the six car. We had some things to correct and finally, today is our day.

“First win of the season, looking forward to the rest of the season now.”

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