Wright Motorsports Pushes through to Watkins Glen Podium
WATKINS GLEN, NY (September 1, 2019) – The long gap in the SRO America schedule didn’t slow Wright Motorsports down as they returned to the podium in what proved to be a challenging weekend at Watkins Glen. The doubleheader saw a second and third place podium for the No. 91 Henry Rifles Porsche 911 GT3 R of Anthony Imperato and Dennis Olsen and two fourth place finishes for the No. 58 Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove.
The weekend started off on mixed terms after Saturday morning’s qualifying sessions. In the first of two sessions Imperato took the Pro/Am class pole for the No. 91 and Long locked in the sixth place starting slot in the No. 58. The second session- which dictates the starting grid for Race 2- saw Olsen drive to sixth overall and third in class, while Hargrove qualified eighth overall.
At the drop of the green flag, Long was able to advance around Henzler for fourth place, while Imperato dipped back a position to the second place slot. Both drivers were able to hold their positions before pitting at the 45-minute mark, handing the No. 58 off to Hargrove and the No. 91 over to Olsen.
Once the field cycled through the pits, Hargrove retained fourth and Olsen reentered third in Pro/Am. With 15-minutes remaining, Olsen got a run on Marcelli allowing the No. 91 to advance to second in class, where he ultimately finished the race. Hargrove was able to maintain his composure, driving the No. 58 to a fourth-place result.
Hargrove proved the No. 58 Porsche would be one to contend with after jumping four positions at the start of Race 2 where he found himself in an battle amongst teammates with Olsen, who was running fifth. They pushed on running third in each of their respective classes before pitting at 45 minutes.
Upon reentering the field, both Long and Imperato retained third place in each of their respective classes. They continued to push forward, dicing through lapped traffic before the final 15-minutes when Baptista advanced around Long on the back straight, demoting him back to fourth, where he ultimately to the checkered flag. Imperato went on to salvage yet another third-place finish for the No. 91 squad.
The Wright Motorsports team will retake the Blancpain GT World Challenge America stage September 19-22 for Rounds 11 and 12 at Road America
PATRICK LONG | No. 58 Wright Motorsports/ Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R
"It wasn’t the outcome we were hopeful for. There was a chance at the podium both days and we fought as hard as we could. It was still a good weekend overall. We maximized our potential as a group and made no mistakes. It's momentum that we need to carry into some lower grip race tracks where we can run the chassis where we want to run it, but on the higher the tracks it’s a compromise that is what it is and we leave it at that for Road America.”
SCOTT HARGROVE | No. 58 Wright Motorsports/Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R
“This weekend we maximized what we had. Obviously, this wasn't our best suited track, but we pushed on anyways. There a couple opportunities where we did get in front, but then unfortunately and just got passed in a straight line. It’s tough to take but at the end of the day I think we can hold our heads high because we come out of Watkins Glen with a shot at the top three in points. It’s also just an added a pleasure to drive with Wright Motorsports and Pat Long again after such a long break. Everything is clicking along nicely and I’m ready to get back to it at Road America.”
ANTHONY IMPERATO | No. 91 Wright Motorsports/Henry Rifles Porsche 911 GT3 R
"This was a difficult weekend for us but one I think we can be happy with. Having to drive a car with a very compromised set up to make the Pirelli tires last was not easy. The team gave us a great car to race given the circumstances. On a good note the Two podium finishes put us second in the championship now. We will be pushing hard the next two rounds to try to take the lead.”
DENNIS OLSEN | No. 91 Wright Motorsports/Henry Rifles Porsche 911 GT3 R
“It was a tough weekend for us. I was working hard to get speed out of the car and close in on our competitors. At the end of the day we didn’t have the outright speed, but I think consistency was key in finishing second and third. We collected good points and hopefully we will be able to carry that forward to the end of the year. Road America is going to be a better track for the Porsche so I expect Matt (Campbell) and Anthony to charge for the championship.”