Wright Motorsports – VIR Recap

October 10, 2021

ALTON, Vir., (October 10, 2021) – Wright Motorsports had a successful visit to VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) over the weekend, driving the pair of No. 16 Porsche race cars to strong finishes in each respective series and gaining valuable ground with one race weekend remaining in the 2021 season. The team gained one spot on Saturday in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class point standings following a fourth-place finish in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR with Trent Hindman and Patrick Long. In Michelin Pilot Challenge, the team drove to victory with Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen, jumping to second-place the point standings

“What a weekend,” said Team Owner John Wright. “We knew VIR would deliver some great racing, and we put up some strong fights to make sure we came out ahead, battling for every championship point. Our GT3 and GT4 programs made some great strides this weekend in the points, and we’re all looking forward to getting to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to give these championships one final push!”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

An off-track excursion in qualifying potentially led to splitter damage, and the No. 16 Porsche 911GT3 R was disqualified for improper ride height. The penalty moved Trent Hindman to start from the 14th position in the GTD class instead of his original third-place qualifying position. At the drop of the green flag, Hindman charged forward, passing four cars in the first ten minutes to break into the top ten. Racing behind the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche, the pair moved their way up through the field, with Hindman closing the gap between the two with every lap. The battle for position went four-wide as Hindman and the Porsche came up on the No. 14 Lexus and No. 66 Acura, who were racing side by side. As the Lexus and Acura traded paint, the Pfaff Porsche went left and alongside the pair with Hindman close on its bumper. The pair made it through, gaining more track position in the opening stint. As Hindman pushed from fifth position, a lapped car exiting pit lane made contact with the Wright Porsche, sending Hindman off in turn one. He recovered and pitted in the next lap, allowing the team to inspect the car and give the driver from New Jersey the next round of service before rejoining.

He re-entered the race in ninth, determined to gain back the ground previously lost. He acquired two more positions before closing out his stint, giving the 1st Phorm Porsche 911 GT3 R to Patrick Long under full-course caution. He restarted from ninth, digging in to make the most of the final laps. He pitted for a quick splash of fuel to get the car to the finish, gaining some ground in pit lane over the competition. With 20 minutes to go, the Wright Motorsports Porsche had climbed up to fourth-place, reeling in Bryan Sellers in the No. 1 Lamborghini. In the final 15-minutes, the race-leading BMW had contact with a GTLM Corvette, sending the car spinning and eventually limping back to pit lane. With two laps to go, the No. 14 Lexus of Jack Hawksworth sat behind Long, attempting to find a place to pass before the checker flag. Long held the position, but interference from a GTLM car opened the door for the Lexus, passing the Porsche in the final lap. Wright finished in fourth-place, gaining a spot on the GTD driver and team championship standings. They are currently placed third with one race remaining.

Championships will be determined after ten hours of racing at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans, November 10-13. Wright Motorsports will enter the event with a three-driver lineup to be announced at a later date.

Driver Quotes | No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R

Patrick Long

That was an extreme high and low sporting event. There was a great execution of strategy and pit stops by the Wright Motorsports team with a really tough starting scenario. There was a lot of traffic for Trent and myself. Two key events cost us a top-two finish today. First, getting taken out by a lap-down car coming out of the pits early in the race. We fought back and made it up to a podium position and on the last lap, unfortunately, as a GTLM car was coming through, opened the door to the car behind us and we got run over and had to settle in a battle to even hold onto fourth place. I am proud of the team but frustrated with the result. You can only control what is in your control.

Trent Hindman

Once again this was one that got away from us, and it was completely out of our control. We had a great qualifying but unfortunately got moved to the back. That didn’t seem to affect us much. The car was super good in traffic, and we were able to move our way forward in the first stint. At the very end of the first stint, we had contact that set us back down the order. It was a big fight to move back forward from then on. A big thanks to the Wright team, 1st Phorm, Mountain Motorsports, obviously Ryan Hardwick for making everything happen, and Pat for his excellent drive. It stings a little bit because we have all the speed in the world, and we have the potential, but we just aren’t getting it done. I feel for the whole team.