Penske Porsche Motorsport scored a picture-perfect 1-2 finish at the Battle at the Bricks Sunday. Despite the main event not being much of an endurance race—just two hours and 40 minutes—IMSA's long-awaited return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway put on a good show for racers and fans alike.
The main event was flanked by three support series, the Porsche Carrera Cup, Lamborghini Trofeo, and the Michelin Challenge. Many current and former IndyCar racers made time to stop by the Speedway for the latter, given the involvement of former Indy racer Robert Wickens.
It was a bit of a home race for the Porsche outfit given Penske's ownership of the Speedway, so the red-and-white cars displayed impressive performance starting Saturday. The No. 6 and No. 7 Porsches qualified on the first and second spot, giving them the upper hand come Sunday. And with the first corner of the Indy road course being known for causing mayhem, it also helped Penske breathe a little easier.
Come race day, the Porsches sealed the deal and got the Captain, Mr. Penske, yet another win at the Brickyard. It was Nick Tandy who led Felipe Nasr, reversing the order of how the two Porsches qualified. The BMW M Team RLL had a promising run to third place, while the Wheelen Engineering Cadillac came in fourth.
Sunday's attendance figures haven't been released, but I was pleased to see a decent turnout for sports cars in a venue that can be cruel to anything other than IndyCar or NASCAR. While a track of this magnitude will never look full to the naked eye (or on TV), the paddock and infield viewing areas showed promising attendance.
Next year's event will be host to a much longer race, around six to eight hours, and will likely run into the night. In many ways, this year's race was a bit of a soft opening for IMSA at Indy, given that it hadn't come to the iconic track since 2014. With the track no longer hosting events like Formula 1, MotoGP, Red Bull AirRace, and even its NASCAR attendance faltering, it's great to see Penske actively trying to put more dates on the calendar.
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