Wright Motorsports Returns to Podium in a Shortened Event at CTMP
Bowmanville, ONT. (May 23, 2017) – A shortened event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park saw a weekend of both champagne and rain showers for Wright Motorsports. Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister drove to second place in GT-pro/pro, while Michael Schein and Jan Heylen continued their podium streak with a second in the GT-pro/am category. The weekend ended with the cancelation of Race 2, as a result of torrential weather conditions.
After starting from the pole position in Race 1, Long executed a great launch and bridged a two second gap in the lead. When the ten-minute pit window opened up, he handed the car off to Bergmeister who cycled into second, just as a yellow flag was thrown. While under caution, the leader pitted and reentered nearly a lap ahead of the No. 58 Porsche, hindering Long and Bergmeister’s shot at a charge to victory.
Despite the circumstances, Bergmeister was still able to hold off the rest of the field for a strong second place finish and set the pace with a 1:16.673 lap time, which was good enough to put them back on the GT-pro/pro pole for Race 2.
The No. 16 Porsche was right in the thick of things as Schein took off from second in class and his best overall starting position in seventh place. He emerged himself into a battle with Bryan Sellers and Frankie Montevalvo just before passing the car over to Heylen who reentered as the class leader. After the caution period, Heylen found himself challenging Laurens Vanthoor for the lead in a mix of traffic. At the end of the day, the duo was able to mark off yet another podium finish with a second place in GT-pro/am.
The talk of the paddock was the rainy forecast for Sunday’s race and it certainly didn’t disappoint. After several attempts to wait out the storm, it was concluded that with driver’s safety in mind the standing water was too severe to race. A makeup date for Round 4 will be determined by the series at a later time.
With little time to prepare for the next event, the Pirelli World Challenge field will be back on track this week for Rounds 5 and 6 of the SprintX championship at Lime Rock Park. Long, who now leads the overall championship by a five-point margin is set to team up with reigning FIA WEC LMP1 champion, Marc Lieb while Bergmeister is out on Nürburgring 24 Hour duty. Schein and Heylen will enter the weekend tied for the SprintX championship lead in the GT-pro/am category.
Being that this is a two-day weekend with one short practice session, every second will be imperative for the Wright Motorsports team to dial in on their Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. We’ll see them put that to the test as they take the green flag for Race 1 on Friday, May 26, at 3:55pm EST and Race 2 on Saturday, May 27, at 1:20pm EST.
Patrick Long // No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “I’m very happy to be leaving CTMP with the overall championship lead. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to run the second race on Sunday with torrential weather, but I think the series made the right call. I’m proud of the entire Wright Motorsports team and we’ll push forward to Lime Rock. Luckily, it’s back to back weekends so we won’t have to wait long to get right back into the groove.”
Jörg Bergmeister // No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “For the first race we had a very good car, started on pole and held onto the lead. The Cadillac guys took a bit of a risk with a late driver change and got lucky with a yellow. Unfortunately, the officials didn’t give us a waive by and therefore we weren’t able to win the race, which I think was very possible. None the less, second is still a strong result. Then luckily our Race 1 time put us on pole again for a rainy Race 2, but unfortunately it rained a bit too much and we weren’t able to run.”
Michael Schein // No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “It was good to be back at CTMP with our Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. To me it's the most enjoyable track we visit. Wright Motorsports gave us an awesome car to drive and I was pleased to improve upon my qualifying time from last year by 6 tenths. It gave Jan and I our best starting position of year in seventh. I was happy to carry the pace into the race. It was fun running close with Bryan and Frankie before I brought it in for the driver change. Unfortunately got unlucky again with another full course caution because we would have had a healthy lead after the Nissan received a drive-through. However, second place is a solid points haul for us regardless and I am looking forward to racing near home at Lime Rock park. I had a good run there last year and I know Jan really enjoys the place. Hoping it can stay somewhat dry!
Jan Heylen // No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “Overall, we had a good solid race, with good points for the championship. Mike was under a lot of pressure from behind and ran really well during his stint. I just hate knowing that we had a really good car and were always in a tough battle, but never got a chance to show what the car could do with all the traffic. I think the rain race would’ve been a good time to recover from this, but the stewards made the right call. We’ll see where they decide to make up the race and do our best when we get there. Like all the tracks we go to, Lime Rock is also a place that I really like. I think it makes for good races because it’s so short and stays busy. The team did very well there last year so hopefully we can do the same and work on extending our championship lead.”