Two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden will make his debut in the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, joining the No. 7 Penske Porsche Motorsport team for the Petit Le Mans season finale Oct. 14.
Newgarden made his IMSA sports car debut with IndyCar teammate Scott McLaughlin in the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona, co-driving an LMP2 entry for Tower Motorsports. He will join full-time drivers Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr in the Porsche 963 for the 10-hour race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in making his Grand Touring Prototype debut.
“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 in a release. “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 963 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.”
In a joint announcement, Porsche Penske Motorsport revealed that Laurens Vanthoor will be the third driver in the No. 6 963 with full-season drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy for the Petit Le Mans. Vanthoor helped deliver a third for Porsche Penske Motorsport at Portimao, Portugal, the team’s first podium in the FIA World Endurance Championship in Portimao, Portugal. He is eighth in the WEC driver standings.
Vanthoor also was part of Porsche’s 2019 IMSA GTLM championship with Earl Bamber, and he was on the winning GTD Pro entry for Pfaff Motorsports in the GTD Pro category of the 2023 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“Laurens has raced at Road Atlanta in the Porsche 911 RSR and he will be able to add his experience from racing in the WEC for PPM,” Porsche Penske Motorsport managing director Jonathan Diuguid said in a release. “Josef brings a different dynamic as this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner; it will be something very exciting for the team as well as himself. Josef has increased his exposure to sports car racing already in 2023 with a test in the Team Penske LMP2, as well as raced in Daytona in 2023. In addition, he got his first exposure to the 963 in early June at Road America.
“With several testing days for the team at Road Atlanta, we are confident that both Laurens and Josef will be fully prepared to deliver for the team and have a positive result in the final race of the season.”
The Petit Le Mans will be shown flag to flag on Peacock with select coverage on USA.