Porsche Penske Motorsport driver Matt Campbell was ‘thrilled’ to secure a maiden IMSA victory for the #7 Porsche 963 alongside co-driver Felipe Nasr at Road America on Sunday.

The triumph in IMSA’s SportsCar Weekend was also the second GTP victory for the Porsche Penske Motorsport team, after the #6 car of Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet won the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on 15 April.

At Road America on Sunday, Campbell started from the front of the grid after the pole-winning Cadillac of Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims crashed in the warmup.

Inheriting the pole was vital for the success of the #7 Porsche, according to Campbell.

“For us, it was of course a big advantage that we were allowed to start from pole position after the Cadillac had an accident in the warm-up,” the Australian said.

“On this track, it makes a huge difference which side of the grid you start on. 

“There’s a lot of dirt off the racing line, but fortunately, we managed to avoid this and turned considerably faster opening laps than our pursuers.”

After retaining the lead at the start, Campbell was able to stretch his lead to over 10 seconds, before handing over to co-driver Nasr for the second half of the race.

The Brazilian maintained the #7 Porsche’s advantage out in front for the remainder of the race, securing the car’s maiden overall victory with a 4.635-second margin over the competition.

Campbell was full of praise for his Porsche 963 machine, which helped guide him and Nasr to victory.

“Our Porsche 963 was really great to drive in the race – that was somewhat of a surprise after our difficulties on Friday, which makes our performance all the better,” he said.

“I’m thrilled about our first victory with the number 7 car in the IMSA series.”

Victory for the #7 Porsche means the German marque has now advanced to third in the manufacturers’ standings, 47 points in arrears of leaders Cadillac, with Acura in between the two and BMW fourth.

Campbell and Nasr now sit seventh in the drivers’ championship and still have an outside chance of claiming the title come the end of the season. Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor lead the drivers’ championship, with the Action Express Cadillac duo of Derani and Sims second, 14 points adrift.

The GTP class will be back in action on 15-17 September at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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