The Plaid Porsche is back after an incredible 2021 season which saw the Pfaff Motorsports team from Canada secure the GTD championship in flying fashion. For 2022 the black and red and silver GT3 R will be moving up ranks to the new GTD Pro category with an all-new Porsche-backed driver lineup. In 2021 the car ran with Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon — with Lars Kern coming on for endurance rounds — taking three victories, including the massively important 12 Hours of Sebring. Next year everything changes.
The GTD Pro category is a new tier for the IMSA championship, effectively replacing GTLM as the place for factory-backed efforts to race, but using GT3 machinery instead of GTE-spec cars. This is ostensibly meant to lower the cost of entry into the class for manufacturers, and make the racing interesting again. In 2021 the GTLM class was effectively just the factory Corvettes against a privateer Porsche from Weathertech. The opening round of the IMSA championship is still well over a month away, and there appears to be some serious interest in the class. With Pfaff making their bid official, there are now six full-time efforts for the GTD Pro class, including one Lexus, two BMW M4s, and two Corvettes.
For 2022 the Pfaff Porsche will be driven by factory aces Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet for the full season. Campbell is an Australian racer with serious FIA WEC credentials, having won five rounds in the last three years, and secured a further five podium finishes. He’s also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTE Am, taken the 12 Hours of Bathurst victory, and stood in as the third driver in Weathertech’s GTLM effort last year, helping the team to three endurance victories. Jaminet, meanwhile, has been playing on the Porsche farm team for a couple of seasons, basically running as a third driver in endurance events (taking podiums at the 24 Hours of Daytona the last two years) and running GT3 events all over the world for Porsche customer teams. Jaminet and Campbell will be joined by 2021 IMSA prototype champion Felipe Nasr for endurance rounds.
In discussion with a source familiar with the effort, FlatSixes has discovered that the move to GTD Pro for the Pfaff team may point toward further future growth as a Porsche customer team into the LMDh category from 2023 onward. This effort is an attempt for the Pfaff team to grow and learn to work not only with factory Porsche ace drivers, but also with the Porsche factory itself. Is Pfaff aiming for a Le Mans bid with Porsche support? Only time will tell, but we sure hope to see it. Those plaid hosers are pretty quick, eh?
Chris Pfaff, President & CEO, Pfaff Motorsports.
“2022 will be just our third full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and in that short time, I’m incredibly proud of what the whole Pfaff Motorsports team has accomplished, winning four races and the GTD championship in 2021. We’re excited to be taking the next big step and are grateful for the confidence that Porsche has shown in us. With an amazing driver lineup and a great team behind them, all of the ingredients are in place for a successful season.”
Steve Bortolotti, General Manager, Pfaff Motorsports.
“Our move to GTD Pro signals Pfaff Motorsports’ commitment to become an elite privateer effort, worthy of factory consideration for future opportunities. We are appreciative of Porsche’s support with factory drivers Matt, Mathieu, and Felipe. They have a proven track record of success individually, and we look forward to working with them and seeing how they gel this season.”
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Firstly, I’m really excited to be joining the team once again, but this time for a full season. They have proven after winning the championship that we will be a force to be reckoned with in 2022. Having driven with the team previously, it will be an easy step already knowing the majority of them, which has a great group of characters. Mathieu and I have been driving together for two years now in most championships we compete in – we like the same things in the car and have the same feedback, so I expect our partnership to only grow further with the team.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m super happy to be joining Pfaff in GTD Pro. It was really my priority to race full time in the USA in 2022, and to be racing with the reigning GTD champions is a privilege. The team showed great performances this season and I can’t wait to get it started at Daytona. Matt and I know each other really well and we’ve already had some good success. This should help us to perform straight away. We like the same things on the car and have the same feedback to push the team. He also knows the team so this will help me integrate quicker with everyone. “[For the season] our goal is clear; we’ve got all the ingredients to be up front, so the target is to try and win the championship. Obviously, we are always looking at the big races, so Daytona and Sebring are also on top of my list. Let’s see what the year has got for us.”