The GTD Pro competitors have a long break ahead of them, with the class not present for the next to rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Mid-Ohio and Detroit. What better way to go into that break than with the championship lead and as the only team with multiple victories? That’s the situation the Pfaff Motorsports duo of Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell find themselves in as they take care of other business for a couple of months before returning to the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3R at the end of June for the six-hour race at Watkins Glen.
“For sure, we are fully fully in the game,” said Jaminet after Sunday’s dominant win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “We took back the championship lead after this race. So yeah, that’s a really good start to the year but it’s a very long way to go. So far, we have we have had only good races, only good executions, and then no mistakes from anybody. Long Beach was unfortunate, but again, it was a very good race until then. So we just need to keep on going. Just do our job, don’t try to do more and see where we’re going to end up. But we are we are fully into it.”
Jaminet and Campbell romped to a 30-second victory in the 2h40m race on Sunday. It was a nice contrast to Long Beach, where while running second to the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, an errant lug nut flew from one of the Corvette team’s wheel guns and ended up falling into the radiator air exit in the hood of the Porsche and damaging the radiator. It was also a very different race from the team’s first win of the season in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where the final hours were a tooth-and-nail battle with the KCMG Porsche. The Laguna Seca race was one where having a gap makes it easier to create a bigger gap.
“This was a little bit more relaxed; it’s always a nice way to do it,” said Campbell. “And out of all the tracks, this would be one of the ones where you want a relaxed race and an easy race. Tire life is everything and if you’re out in front leading, you’re out of trouble, you’re out of traffic, you don’t have to over-drive to be able to race cars around you. I think that was really critical for our tire life and our race result.”
Pfaff are the 2021 GTD champions, having won with Zacharie Robichon and Laurens Vanthoor – who was the chief antagonist in the KCMG Porsche at Daytona vs Pfaff’s endurance addition Felipe Nasr. They chose to move the the GTD Pro category when it was created to replace GTLM, and the results have been positive so far.
“We’re in the fight. You look at the past events. We’ve always been up there,” said Campbell. “The most important thing is, so far we haven’t made mistakes, and we’ve always been able to capitalize on the best opportunities we can. So if we just keep doing that, keep being smart, we can be up there. But still there is such a long way to go into championship and the other guys are pushing hard, and Corvette as well. So they’ll be back in the mix.”