Posted (04/27/2017) -
In what may be the 1st worldwide Overall Victory in an Endurance race for a Porsche PDK race car, Team Sahlen topped all 80 racers in the Sahlen’s Sports Car Springfest at the Glen on April 23rd, 2017. The American Endurance Racing event
Team Sahlen entered their Porsche Cayman in the Sunday event at Watkins Glen International hoping to be able to complete the full race distance. At the end of the race, not only did the team’s #41 PDK equipped racer complete the distance, but had secured the top OVERALL spot.
Joe Sahlen drove 5 of the 9 hours of the race, including the last shift under the checkered flag. After the race Joe shared his thoughts – “The Porsche PDK is fantastic to drive in the race. It truly is automatic race car. There is no clutch, just gas and brake pedals. You take the shifter out of park, put it into drive and away you go. Under pace laps and caution flag periods you leave it in standard trim. But when under Green Flag, you click it into SuperSport Mode and the shifting up and down just is a bit more aggressive. This makes for really ease in left foot braking. The PDK didn’t miss a beat all day and I really enjoyed the race from beginning to end.”
Although no official records appear to be kept on Porsche PDK victories worldwide, a quick search of the internet appears to reveal that this is the very 1st OVERALL Victory in an Endurance race by a production based PDK Transmission in a production based race car.
Joe Sahlen’s co-driver Will Nonnamaker shared his thoughts on the potentially historic event – “With so many 1st having occurred through the years of racing, it’s very difficult to achieve a milestone that has never been achieved before. It’s rather ironic that we were able to achieve this milestone, due to the factor that the 1st time anyone tried to race a production based automatic transmission was my dad Joe at the 1981 Nelson Ledges 24 Hours. In that event, my Dad’s Datsun 280ZX Turbo was able to finish a very respectable 6th overall. And here we are 36 years later, with a much more refined piece of engineering and securing the overall victory.”
Team Sahlen will continue to enter their #41 Porsche Cayman PDK equipped race car in Endurance races across North America in 2017 and beyond. Although the next race will not be historic, it will hopefully will be another overall victory.
2017 Team Sahlen Campaign Partners
eEuroparts.com, Tarett Engineering, Guard Transmission, Porsche of Beachwood, Pittsburgh International Race Complex, HubstandsPRO, Brothers Grimm Landscaping, NGK Spark Plugs, CM Racing Products, Mothers Polishes, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Design Engineering Inc., Hard Brakes, Forgeline Wheels, Alcon Rotors, Lamin-X,