EVENT RECAP: Wright Motorsports Lights Up Lime Rock Park with Podium Finish
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 22, 2023) – After a series of strong races where the Wright Motorsports No. 77 VOLT Lighting Porsche 911 GT3 R narrowly missed finishing inside the top five of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Ohio-based team celebrated their first podium result of the 2023 season Saturday afternoon at Lime Rock Park. The satisfying success capped off a strong performance in the Northeast Grand Prix where the black and yellow Porsche, driven by Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman, drove from 15th place to third.
“At long last the consistency in excellence for the VOLT group is rewarded with a podium finish,” said Team Owner John Wright. “The team has been flawless all year, and today, the race played perfectly into our hands. I’m very proud of this team and the great job they’ve put in. They never give up and today they were rewarded for it. I’m very proud of each and every one of them!”
Alan Brynjolfsson started Saturday’s race under sunny skies and warm temperatures from 14th out of 15 cars. Though at the rear of the field, the VOLT driver remained focused and motivated to fight for a strong result in the Wright Motorsports Porsche. The drop of the green flag started his 40-minute-long battle with Sheena Monk as the pair raced side-by-side for position. Though the Acura had a slower pace over the lap, the 1.474-mile course of Lime Rock Park provided little room to pass. Not deterred by the lack of opportunity, Brynjolfsson kept pressure on Monk for the entirety of the stint, keeping fans at Lime Rock Park on the edge of their seats.
A full-course caution brought an end to the fight, and with his minimum drive time required completed, Brynjolfsson pitted for a full-service stop. With a new set of tires and a full tank of fuel, Hindman took over, with just under two hours remaining in the sprint race. Once again, the Wright Motorsports crew in pit lane took full advantage of the chance to gain position with their efficient pit stops. Hindman rejoined the race in 11th. Extracting the most out of the Porsche 911 GT3 R and the new Michelin rubber, Hindman methodically worked his way through the field, taking advantage of passing opportunities, as well as the attrition of others. With just over one hour remaining, he pitted for the team’s final stop, coming in from sixth place.
A perfectly timed full-course caution appeared after Hindman rejoined the race, allowing the team to pull ahead while the rest of the field pitted for service. He rejoined near the front of the field, finding himself in third place with 57 minutes remaining. He put heavy pressure on the No. 92 of Julien Andlauer, who was also close to the class leader, the No. 27 of Marco Sorensen. The three cars battled nose-to-tail for the remainder of their stint, demonstrating impressive race craft for the fans all over Lime Rock Park. In the end, they maintained position, and Hindman finished third. Not only was the positive result the first podium for the Wright Motorsports VOLT Porsche, but the third-place finish also marked the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium for Brynjolfsson.
The third-place finish unofficially moves the group up from eighth place to fifth place in the championship standings with four rounds remaining in the 2023 championship. The series will next head to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the IMSA SportsCar Weekend, another two-hour, 40-minute sprint race, August 4-6.
You never forget your first. This is my first WeatherTech podium. It’s great to be back on the podium. I used to be a regular here in Michelin Pilot Challenge. We had a little bit of a dry spell, but we’ve broken that today. The crew had an awesome performance today. This was a total team effort. I’m especially proud of Trent, bringing it from last up to the podium. Great job by Trent and the team.
I am so excited and happy. It’s Alan’s first GTD class podium, it’s been a long time coming. It’s super well-deserved. The Wright Motorsports guys gave us a phenomenal car this weekend. Lime Rock is a hard place to pass. You have to have a perfect strategy and some impressive skills in the pit box. We were able to make a few passes on the track, but it was all the work from the group in pit lane. We want to keep this momentum rolling. Big thanks to the guys. This was a great result today.