Indy 500 Winner Josef Newgarden to Make GTP Debut at Petit Le Mans

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The 2023 Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden and two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season champion Laurens Vanthoor are going to be in the cockpit of a Porsche Penske Motorsport GTP at Petit Le Mans.

The two will be making their GTP debut and join full-season drivers Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 at Michelin Raceway (Road Atlanta) for the 2023 season finale, Oct. 11-14.

Vanthoor, who drives a PPM Porsche 963 this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), returns to the WeatherTech Championship where he’ll partner with Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy in the No. 6 Porsche 963.

Each of the Porsche Penske cars have won once in this inaugural season for the hybrid-electrified GTP class. With two races remaining, the No. 6 Porsche is fourth in the class standings and the No. 7 is seventh.

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Joseph Newgarden will make his IMSA GTP debut for his IndyCar boss Roger Penske.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Newgarden, the two-time IndyCar Series champion, made his WeatherTech Championship debut in January, co-driving a Tower Motorsports Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) entry to fifth place in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The Tennessee native is eager for his first chance to race in a GTP.

“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,” Newgarden said. “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 963s 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 has put in place. With some good fortune, I’m sure we can turn effort into results together.”

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Laurens Vanthoor is a GTD veteran looking to make a splash in the GTP class.IMSA Photo

Vanthoor and co-driver Earl Bamber won the 2019 GT Le Mans (GTLM) class championship driving for the Porsche GT Team. The Belgian also captured the 2021 GT Daytona (GTD) title with co-driver Zacharie Robichon, driving the Pfaff Motorsports 911 GT3 R.

This March, Vanthoor teamed with Klaus Bachler and Patrick Pilet to win the GTD PRO class of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the Pfaff Porsche. Vanthoor was also part of the PPM entry that captured the team’s first WEC podium finish in the Hypercar class, at Portimao, Portugal.

“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 manufacturer championships,” Vanthoor said. “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.”