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No. 7 Porsche in Driver’s Seat as GTP Looks Ahead to Stretch Run

Sahlen’s Six Hours Win Helps Cameron, Nasr Extend Lead but Three Important Races Remain


By Jeff Olson


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Three races, 109 days, 93 points.


That’s the remaining count for the top two teams in the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class in the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.


A victory Sunday in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen pushed the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 and its drivers, Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron, further ahead in the GTP standings, but the run for the championship is far from complete after two-thirds of the season.


Just three races – Road America (Aug. 4), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22) and the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta 109 days from now (Oct. 12) – remain on the GTP schedule, and just 132 points separate the top three contenders.


Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and their No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R, who finished second Sunday, are 93 points behind the leaders, with the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry and co-drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy 39 points behind the Cadillac.


Becoming the first repeat winner this season in GTP was important to the No. 7 Porsche, which opened 2024 by winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona before three consecutive third-place finishes and a fourth-place effort at Detroit leading into the Sahlen’s Six Hours.


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“(Winning at Watkins Glen) was really critical, I think, to us,” Cameron said. “Average finish is great over the course of the year, but if you’re finishing third every time, your competitors are ahead of you. It’s not ultimately going to get you the championship. We really needed to get this win.”


While the victory provided the No. 7 team some breathing room, it’s far too early to start engraving the championship trophy. With 10 full-season GTP entries, race points awarded at each of the last three races range from 350 for winning to 210 for 10th place. A hot streak or misstep by any of the frontrunners could cause a dramatic shake-up in the standings. Even the fourth- and fifth-place teams – the No. 40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 (199 points from the lead) and the defending GTP champion No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R (206 points back) – cannot be discounted.


It’s why Cameron emphasized how important it is to stock points now.


“When you get to Road Atlanta, it’s nice to have a little bit of breathing room,” he said. “That’s such a chaotic race. That’s really the focus, if at all possible.”


As Bourdais pointed out after Sunday’s race, the runner-up points were nice, but the other team – the one already leading the standings – finished ahead. The No. 01 Cadillac will have three more opportunities to close the gap.


“We’ll just keep digging and stacking up points,” Bourdais said, “and hopefully we’ll get even.”


In a championship battle that includes everything – long endurance races, short sprints and challenging weather conditions that included a rain delay Sunday – staying within reach in the championship heading into the final three races is the primary goal.

“We made it happen,” van der Zande said. “This championship is the only championship in the world that has that kind of racing, which is very particular and very cool.”