Porsche has won the manufacturer’s championship in the GTD-Pro class. The customer team Pfaff Motorsports secured the title, with Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet crowned the new driver champions. These were the results after the finale of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. The Porsche customer team from Canada finished the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in third place. The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Wright Motorsports crossed the finish line in fourth place in the GTD category.
For Pfaff Motorsports, the wait was over immediately after the ten-hour race began: With the successful start of the 2022 Petit Le Mans, the team had already notched up enough points to hand all three titles in the new GTD-Pro class to Porsche, the Canadian squad and the two works drivers Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet. This was the second title in a row for the team with the distinctive and extremely popular Porsche 911 GT3 R decked out in the lumberjack livery. In 2021, Pfaff Motorsports won the GTD category.
The successful Porsche works driver duo Campbell and Jaminet, who are known in the North American sports cars scene as “CamJam”, received reinforcement from Felipe Nasr for the endurance race at Road Atlanta. The Brazilian drove strong stints in the first two and a half hours and handed the 911 off to his Australian teammate running in sixth place. Campbell, however, was hit by bad luck: After contact with another GT vehicle, he had to slowly and carefully navigate his Porsche 911 GT3 R back to the pits with a puncture. Consequently, the team lost two laps to the leading vehicles. However, with a clever strategy and some conveniently-timed yellow phases, Pfaff managed to close the gap to the leaders within just one hour. Campbell and Jaminet continued their charge, at times even taking the lead. After the final full course yellow with around 35 minutes left on the clock, a gripping fight for class victory unfolded. After an action-packed race, Pfaff Motorsports’ No. 9 car took the flag in fourth place but ultimately inherited third place after a rival was handed a penalty.
“Congratulations to Pfaff Motorsports, our victorious works drivers and the entire team from Weissach, who made the other title victories with the Porsche 911 GT3 R possible. Last year’s triumph in the GTD category, now the championship title in the new GTD-Pro class – we’re delighted with the Pfaff squad,” said Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “We’re just as proud of our partners in the GTD class. Wright Motorsports were in close contention for the title right up to the final race. That’s an honourable achievement. We’ve given the current generation GT3 R a fitting farewell in North America. We’re now looking forward to the brand new 911 GT3 R in the GT categories and the 2023 season with the Porsche 963 in the new GTP class.”
“We didn’t have the fastest car on the track today, but the experienced Pfaff and Wright customer teams managed to get the best out of it,” concludes Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. “It’s a great story that Pfaff Motorsports secured the 2021 title in the GTD class and did it again the following year in the new GTD-Pro category. Five wins this season is tremendous – no one has ever achieved that many wins in one season before in the GT classes of the IMSA championship. Our Porsche 911 GT3 R was able to showcase its potential over and over again this year. Now we’re excited about its successor, which will make its debut at Daytona in 2023.”
The Wright Motorsports customer team headed into the 2022 Petit Le Mans with an outside chance of winning the title. The squad from the US state of Ohio drove a flawless race with its drivers Ryan Hardwick (USA), Zacharie Robichon (Canada) and Jan Heylen (Belgium), but failed to score enough points to outstrip the two top teams. The No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R crossed the finish line fourth in the GTD class. Nevertheless, the crew did not go home empty-handed: Ryan Hardwick was presented with the “Bob Akin Award” as the best amateur. This accolade guarantees the American business man a grid spot at the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours.
For the Hardpoint team, the final race of the 2022 season ended after seven hours. The American Rob Ferriol hit the barriers at turn five with the No. 99 Porsche. The amateur drive was unhurt. Ferriol shared the cockpit with his fellow countryman Nick Boulle and Katherine Legge from the UK.
The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season is now over. Spectators were given a preview of the coming year with the presentation of four racing cars in the new GTP class, which will race for victory at Daytona, Sebring and other races. This quartet also included the new Porsche 963, which was displayed to the public for the first time in the USA at Road Atlanta. The new hybrid prototype will take part in official tests at Daytona on 6-7 December before tackling the opening round of the 2023 season at the same venue on the last weekend in January.
Drivers’ comments on the race and the 2022 season
Matt Campbell (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “It feels totally surreal. We’ve won every title in this tremendous year and we’re back on the podium again at the final race. It’s amazing what we have achieved as a team. There was only one race where we didn’t end up on the podium. That’s phenomenal. On one hand, it’s a pity that our journey with the Pfaff Motorsports squad ends here. On the other hand, I’m really excited about racing the Porsche 963 next year with Porsche Penske Motorsport.”
Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “Once again, the final phase in the dark was crazy – Petit Le Mans is famous for that. We didn’t have the fastest car today, but I still thought I had good chances in the thrilling finale. It was a four-way fight with an open-ended outcome. There was a lot of swapping of paint and positions. We love such situations. It wasn’t enough to win today but that’s okay. Thanks so much to the team for all the great work and strategy. Every single member of the team has become a lifelong friend!”
Ryan Hardwick (Porsche 911 GT3 R #16): “We tried out very best but we couldn’t do more today. I’m extremely proud of the team and my teammates Jan and Zach. Everyone did their utmost but in the end, we were just a few points short of winning the title. Two years ago with Patrick Long, I missed out on winning the big trophy by just two points. Something like that always hurts. On the other hand, it’s a huge success to be in the fight for the title all the way to the finale. Now I’m looking forward to the coming year. I accept the invitation to Le Mans and I’ll drive the 911 RSR there. And I’m very excited about the new 911 GT3 R in the IMSA series!”
1. Hawksworth/Barnicoat/Kirkwood (UK/UK/USA), Lexus RC F GT3 #14, 386 laps
2. De Phillippi/Edwards/Krohn (USA/USA/FIN), BMW M4 GT3 #25, 386 laps
3. Campbell/Jaminet/Nasr (AUS/F/BR), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, 386 laps
1. Farnbacher/Bechtolsheimer/Simpson (D/UK/USA), Acura NSX GT3 #66, 387 laps
2. Iribe/Pepper/Priaulx (USA/RSA/UK), McLaren 720S GT3 #70, 387 laps
3. Foley/Auberlen/Dinan (USA/USA/USA), BMW M4 GT3 #96, 386 laps
4. Hardwick/Heylen/Robichon (USA/B/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R #16, 386 laps
12. Ferriol/Legge/Boulle (USA/UK/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, 264 laps