Rolex 24 Preview: 2020 Race Season Marks 20th Anniversary for Wright Motorsports
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (January 22, 2020) – Longtime Porsche racing team Wright Motorsports will celebrate its platinum anniversary this year, beginning with this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team will ring in its 20th year of competition with the longest and one of the most demanding events of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar. After months of preparation, the drivers and crew of the No. 16 Wright Motorsports 1st Phorm Porsche 911 GT3 R are fully prepared to get the season started.
“20 years of competition in sports car racing is something to be incredibly proud of,” said Team Owner John Wright. “We’ve built a strong program over the years, and it’s great to be able to celebrate this milestone. We’re excited for what this season has in store, and we’ve got a great lineup for this year and the Rolex 24 At Daytona!”
Racers Ryan Hardwick, Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, Anthony Imperato, and Klaus Bachler will share the driving duties for the No. 16 1st Phorm Porsche 911 GT3 R over the course of the 24 hours around the 3.56 mile circuit. Hardwick and Long are slated to be the full season drivers for the No. 16 Porsche with Anthony Imperato’s 2020 program to be announced at a later date.
Categorized into four separate classes (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, and GTD), almost 40 cars will compete in the endurance race, taking the green flag on Saturday, January 26th at 1:40 PM Eastern on NBC. Racing on track with cars of varying speed and power will add to the many challenges of the event, putting all drivers to the test. Each driver will take their turns driving over the course of the 24 hours, ensuring to stay between the minimum and maximum drive times. Pit stop strategy and execution will be key for the race, as races can be won or lost in pit lane.
In preparation for the event, all of Wright Motorsports journeyed to Daytona International Speedway for the first official test of the season in early January, participating in all eight sessions over the course of the three days. Throughout the Roar Before the 24, the team focused on getting the drivers acclimated to the track and car, while also establishing and executing race procedures within the team.
I really enjoyed the Roar Before the 24. I made a large improvement from where we started. Where we’re leaving off, I feel my pace in the car is where it needs to be for the race. I feel like I accomplished my goals for the race. For the team, I think we had a really good test. We finished up a lot further down the road than where we started. We’re in a good spot. The feeling is really positive in the Wright Motorsports camp, and I personally am really looking forward to the race. We have as good of a shot as anyone to have a great result. I can’t wait to get after it this weekend.
An uneventful Roar Before the 24 is what we wanted, and we were able to achieve our objectives. Our main goal was to treat the test like a race weekend, using the minimal running time leading into the race to fine-tune. I’m proud of the group. Everyone gelled quickly and worked efficiently. Competition will be tight, as always. That’s modern GT racing. We executed the plan and look forward to the race.
It was a cool experience to take part in my first Roar Before the 24. It went really well for us, and the team did a great job. We made a lot of progress over the three days. Our car is quick and I feel confident going into the race.
I am really happy with how the Roar Before the 24 test went for us. Our main goal was to focus on our race set-up and optimizing race procedures. John Wright and his crew did a perfect Job and we tried a lot of different things. I enjoyed working together with my teammates Ryan, Anthony, and Patrick, and I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s Rolex At Daytona.
Fans in the United States with a cable package will be able to watch the entire race on the NBC Sports Network app, with account authentication, as well as selected hours on NBC and NBCSN. American fans without a cable package can subscribe to TrackPass for just $3.00 for the race or $20 for the entire 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship Season. IMSA Radio will also return with live audio coverage, broadcasting all sessions starting with the first practice on Thursday, January 23. Live timing of all sessions will be available via IMSA and LiveScoring. For a full schedule, visit imsa.com.