IMSA - Tandy Keeps Penske Organization Rolling with Detroit Pole-Winning Effort

1 Jun. 2024 • 8:33
Dane Cameron Qualifies Second in Sister Car to Give Porsche a Front-Row Lockout.
© Courtesy of IMSA

Nick Tandy kept the Penske momentum rolling by securing the Motul Pole Award for the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class of the Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic.


Tandy hustled the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 around the 1.645-mile, nine-corner temporary street course in the heart of downtown Detroit that is new this year to competitors in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 1 minute, 5.390 seconds for an average of 90.564 mph. That lap edged his Porsche Penske Motorsport teammate Dane Cameron, who clocked a lap of 1:05.514 (90.392 mph) in the identical No. 7 Porsche.


The pole effort follows Tandy and Jaminet’s win three weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and comes five days removed from Josef Newgarden giving Team Penske back-to-back Indianapolis 500 triumphs.


“It’s a tight little track, and to find the limit sometimes you’ve got to go over it. I think every session I’ve touched the wall,” said Tandy, who earned his first WeatherTech Championship pole position since January 2021 when he was the fastest qualifier in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.


“The car was good. I touched the wall twice on my fastest lap, and luckily, we did before the red flag came out to get a team 1-2. Obviously for a street track like this, it’s mega.”


The nine other GTP competitors were unable to challenge Tandy’s pole lap in the closing stages after Pipo Derani spun the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing V-Series.R and caused a red flag with just over two minutes remaining in the 15-minute qualifying session. That relegated Sebastien Bourdais (No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac) and Filipe Albuquerque (No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06) to the second row of the grid for Saturday’s 100-minute sprint race.


The versatility of Roger Penske’s racing organization was put on display in recent weeks when key personnel from Porsche Penske Motorsport were called in to assist Team Penske at the Indy 500. Jonathan Diuguid served as race strategist and Raul Prados worked as race engineer for Newgarden’s victory.


For his part, Newgarden was part of the winning driver lineup for Porsche Penske Motorsport when the No. 7 car claimed the overall victory in this year’s Rolex 24 in January, along with Cameron, Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell.


“It’s great to see people you work with having success,” commented Tandy. “Of course, it was amazing to see what I call ‘Team IMSA’ win at Indianapolis, because Josef has now raced with us a few times at Porsche Penske Motorsport. I saw them all together on TV after the race, and I would say it doesn’t bring motivation but just happiness. I always think that people need to be happy to do their best work, when they’re enjoying themselves.”


Tandy added that Team Penske’s experience racing Indy cars on the downtown Detroit track that was first used in 2023 was helpful to the sports car team.


“I can’t say too much,” he said. “But anything they found – especially with track evolution and differences in the track surface from this year to last – any information we gleaned from them for track modeling, we could implement into our simulation modeling. Naturally, you go through their notebook and see how the weekend develops. And after we ran our first practice session today, there was crossover that goes back to the IndyCar team.”


Results are HERE


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