Wright Motorsports Scores Podium Finish at Laguna Seca

September 12, 2021

MONTEREY, Calif., (September 12, 2021) – Wright Motorsports put forth an impressive performance this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, securing two pole positions, one win, and one third-place result between its two IMSA programs. Jan Heylen, Max Root, and the crew of the No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport won from pole position on Saturday in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, intensifying the fight for the GS points championship battle. In the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Patrick Long and Trent Hindman secured a third-place finish from pole position, putting up a strong fight to the end for maximum points. In Indianapolis, the team’s Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands secured three additional top-five finishes, bringing the 2021 tally to twelve in five races.

“From our Porsche Carrera Cup North America program in Indianapolis to our IMSA efforts in Monterey, it’s been a strong weekend for us,” said team owner John Wright. “We’ve shown no matter the series, we can competitively and consistently, and now we’re fully dialed into maximizing our results for the remainder of the season.”

In another impressive qualifying session, Trent Hindman secured his first GTD pole position of 2021 setting the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R from first on Sunday’s race. He held the position in the opening laps until the first and only full-course caution, but the BMW of Robby Foley took the top position after an early-race restart. Hindman stayed close and maintained position, assuming the lead when the BMW came in to pit lane for its first stop and driver change to Bill Auberlen. Hindman gained as much time as he could with the clear track, building a 1.1-second lead before pitting for Patrick Long to take over with a new set of tires and a full tank of fuel. A strong stop by the team sent the Porsche out in second place, with a seven-second gap to the leader. With the all-clear from the pit box, Long pushed hard gaining half of a second with each lap. Lurking in Long’s shadow, Laurens Vanthoor followed Long through the turns of the California course, eventually making the pass and taking the lead from Auberlen in the BMW.

Long wisely preserved his tires, knowing he’d need them for a strong late-race push. Long pitted for his final stop, rejoining just ahead of the BMW, but the warmer tires of the car behind allowed for a pass later in that lap. With one hour to go, Long ran fifth, again chasing Auberlen while also working to preserve the Porsche’s tires. In the final half-hour, his patience paid off, and he made the pass, pulling away from the BMW with ease. He charged forward in the last 20 minutes, quickly closing in on the No. 1 Lamborghini in second place, but ultimately crossed the line in third place.

With three races remaining, Wright Motorsports stands fifth in the GTD Team standings. Next, the championship heads to the streets of Long Beach, California for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, September 26.


Patrick Long

No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R

It was a super-challenging race and a game of tire strategy. We tried two different things in each of our two final stints and really found a great balance at the end. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to catch the No. 1 car ahead, and we had to settle for third. Great job by the team. I wish I had a little more for them today, but we’ll keep our head down and keep these podiums coming until the end of the year and see where we shake out.

Trent Hindman

No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R

Obviously, we really wanted to convert qualifying to the same result in the race today. We just, unfortunately, came up a little short, and that’s okay. It was still a beautifully executed race by the Wright Motorsports guys. A big thanks to 1st Phorm, Mountain Motorsports, and Ryan Hardwick for all their support and for making this happen. We have a couple of really good key points that we’ll work on going into Long Beach and be as equally as racey there.