Perhaps the Porsche Penske Motorsport team will take a moment to reflect on what it achieved in winning victory in the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, and celebrate in the days to come.
But immediately after the race, before the Rolexes were slipped onto wrists, the emotions were still raw. Urs Kuratle, director of Factory Racing for Porsche Motorsport, said that the success was made all the satisfying by the work the team had done in the aftermath of last year’s race, when assorted glitches prevented the then-new cars from contending for the win.
“It’s huge for us,” said Kuratle. “Especially if you think where we were coming from last year here. That was not our best performance. I have to say there was a lot of lessons learned throughout the year. and it pays off.
“There was a lot of work from all our parties. It’s not only the IMSA team we have out of Mooresville, but also the team in Mannheim, the WEC team was part of it and obviously people in Weissach, the development team. And not to forget also our chassis partner, Multimatic, because, again, we had a lot of lessons to learn from last year, but it pays out now. We are extremely happy.”
Not lost on Kuratle was the fact that all four Porsches – the two two factory cars and the private entries run by JDC-Miller and Proton Competition Mustang Sampling – ran relatively trouble-free and finished the race. The winning PPM car’s No.6 sister entry was fourth, with Proton and JDC-Miller immediately behind in fifth and sixth, respectively.
“That’s big for us, especially because reliability was one of our biggest concerns,” he said. “Congratulations to the customers, because they really did very well. JDC had some bad luck early in the race with the unfortunate yellow, Proton did a great job. I don’t think I’ve realized completely what it means yet.”