EVENT PREVIEW: Wright Motorsports 1st Phorm Porsche Returns for IMSA WeatherTech Petit Le Mans
BRASELTON, Ga., (October 11, 2023) – Over three months have passed since the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R ran last in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This weekend, the blue, black, and white machine returns to contest one final time in the 2023 season for a GTD class victory. Drivers Ryan Hardwick, Jan Heylen, and Zacharie Robichon are back to pilot the car, eager to close out the season with a successful result at Petit Le Mans.
“It’s great to have the 1st Phorm trio back,” said Team Owner John Wright. “Ryan and Zach are coming off of a win of their own at Spa-Francorchamps, and we just celebrated a win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We’re highly energized with the current momentum and look forward to putting that out on track. This group has proven they have what it takes to win in endurance racing, and we’ll give it everything we’ve got this weekend.”
Participating in only the four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races that make up the Michelin Endurance Cup, the 1st Phorm Porsche has shown steady progress at each event. At the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the group finished ninth, but bettered those results by three positions with a sixth-place finish at the Twelve Hours of Sebring. In their third round, they climbed another three spots to celebrate the team’s first podium of the season with a third-place finish at the Six Hours of the Glen. Last year, the three same drivers raced together under the Wright banner, finishing in fifth place at the 10-hour season finale.
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will be celebrating the 26th running of the race this weekend, and the popular Georgia event always delivers as one of the best events of the IMSA WeatherTech race season. This race not only crowns the full-season champions but the endurance champions as well. A total of 54 entries will be competing in the event, bringing all five IMSA WeatherTech classes together one final time in the 2023 season. The GTD class will make up 35 percent of the field, with seven different manufacturers being represented in the group.
The 26th Annual Motul Petit Le Mans will begin on Saturday, October 14 at 11:40 AM Eastern, streaming live in the United States from start to finish on Peacock. Cable subscribers can watch the final three and a half hours of TV coverage on USA, while international fans can stream live on imsa.tv.
Thursday, October 12
9:50 AM – 11:20 AM Practice 1
2:35 PM - 4:05 PM Practice 2
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Practice 3
Friday, October 13
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Driver Autograph Session
3:20 PM – 3:25 PM GTD Qualifying
Saturday, October 14
8:45 AM – 9:05 AM Warm Up
10:20 AM – 11:20 AM Open Grid Fan Walk
11:40 AM – 9:40 PM Petit Le Mans
Petit Le Mans is one of the best events of the year, plus it’s also my hometown race. Road Atlanta is one of the best tracks in the world, and this race is always exciting. With a record number of cars on track, this year’s race is sure to be a thriller! Can’t wait to be back in our Wright Motorsports / 1st Phorm Porsche GTD car and go for it!
I love the track. I love the busyness on track. It’s one of my favorite events! I think it’s one of the hardest races to win. The tightness of the track, the amount of traffic you have to deal with each and every lap; it’s all about surviving, and it doesn’t get more fun than this! I look forward to being back in the car with Ryan and Zach. They are having an amazing season over in Europe and we’re looking to continue that performance in Atlanta. Ryan has been my teammate for the last couple of years. He’s been incredibly loyal to myself and the team, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of our journey together. I hope we can give back at his home race with a top step podium finish.
Feels like forever since Watkins Glen! Our season started off a bit tough this year in the number 16 1st Phorm car but we proved that we can come together after a strong race at Watkins Glen. Although it’s been a few months, I’m confident we can pick up where we left off and we will be fighting to get to the front.