LEEDS, AL (April 22, 2018) – Known for it’s rolling hills, fast elevation changes and unpredictable weather, Barber Motorsports Park always provides a show and Rounds 3 and 4 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge were no exception. Wright Motorsports was back in winning form as a Platinum Masters victory sweep for Charlie Luck highlighted a clean run for their four Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
It was a picture perfect weekend for Charlie Luck, who continued his victory streak with two more Platinum Cup Masters wins at the Alabama road-course. After topping the charts in qualifying, Luck started Race 1 from the pole position and never looked back. On his drive to triumph, the Virginia native turned the fastest lap, placing the No. 45 Porsche on pole once again. Race 2 saw a very similar story as Luck clung onto the lead and earned not only the class victory, but the fifth place slot overall. Luck rolls out of Barber Motorsports Park with a healthy championship lead in the Platinum Masters category.
Hurley Haywood Scholar, Max Root didn’t lack any momentum in a double-sided Barber Motorsports Park debut. After starting from his fourth place qualifying slot, Root jumped around Trenton Estep to third, which saw the start of a nose-to-tail battle between the two. The battle lasted until the halfway point, when Root’s tires began to wear and he dropped to fifth place, where managed to finish Race 1. Race 2 saw the Californian start from the fourth position once again. Unfortunately, things went downhill at the start when Root was clipped heading into Turn 5. Once the field passed, he was able to safely reenter from the back of the pack. From there, Root picked off nine positions and saw the finish from thirteenth place.
It was all about adapting and overcoming for Anthony Imperato, who faced some challenges at the start of the weekend. Despite qualifying in an untraditional sixth place, he managed to push forward and maintain that position to the checker. Race 2, however, was an entirely different story. With a twelfth place starting slot, Imperato knew he had his work cut out for him. That didn't seem to be an issue as the New Yorker drove his Henry Rifles Porsche up to a well-earned fourth place finish in only 31-minutes of green flag racing.
It was a bittersweet weekend for Fred Poordad, who like Root, was taking on his first run at the Alabama road-course. After qualifying in the fifth place slot in Platinum Masters, a brilliant start allowed the Texas native to jump two positions. From there, he hung onto that position and saw the checkered flag just shy of a podium in fourth place. Race 2 saw a similar start for Poordad, who took on the field from fifth place once again. Despite the challenges presented with changing weather conditions, Poordad ultimately managed to carry the No. 20 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to a hard fought sixth place finish.
Next week, Wright Motorsports will be taking on home turf for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The group will be joined by Wright Motorsports’ two-car GTD-class program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Charlie Luck // Driver, No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup –“Oh my gosh, if you would have told me last year that I would have won at Sebring and these two, I would have said, ‘There’s no way. I really am numb. It’s just incredibly exciting. To top that off, I got my first top five in the whole Platinum series. I’m just totally appreciative to be able to do this and to be with John Wright and their motorsport program. I really appreciate my wife, Lisa, she’s been a super support and everybody at Luck Companies too. I’ve got my sister and my brother-in-law here for the first time, so a good luck charm there. It was a great, great weekend. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Max Root // Driver, No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup –“Coming to Barber for the first time has been quite the learning experience. It’s been all about learning the different sections at the track that I’m good at, not so good at and where the rest of the competition has an edge on me. Through the the weekend we were able to put a really good package together. I had a mistake in qualifying, but was able to get fourth. The first race went pretty good. I burnt up the tires pretty quickly, but again it was about learning consistency because this was first time running through sets. This race on Sunday was a difficult one, after getting hit in turn five, but I got back after it. The practice and learning is what we’re here for.
Anthony Imperato // Driver, No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – “Barber didn’t really go the way I was expecting. We were battling some car issues all through the weekend and couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. We didn’t qualify where we wanted to be, so we had our hands full for race one. After Race 1 the team worked really hard to resolve the issues we were having, so a big thank you to the Wright Motorsports for their efforts. Race 2 was a lot of fun. We started P12 and had a really good and lucky start. At the end, we finished fourth which wasn’t too bad. Though the weekend didn’t go our way we left with some points and an answer to our problems, so I’m looking forward to Mid-Ohio.”
Fred Poordad // Driver, No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup –“It was a really great weekend overall. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the strongest outings in either race one or two so it was also pretty disappointing. None the less, Wright Motorsports did a great job putting a good car under me. I’m looking forward to coming back for Mid-Ohio ready to go and ready to look for stronger results.