Lexington, OH (July 30, 2017) - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a track that's known for both it's challenges and strengths. No strangers to the road-course, Wright Motorsports certainly wouldn't be the first team to confirm that. The Batavia, Ohio based team has left their home event with two second place finishes for Michael Schein in the GTA-class along with a second and fifth place for Patrick Long in GT.
It was a trying start to the weekend for Long, who qualified in an untraditional fifth place for Race 1. A clean start, kept the Californian running right in the thick of things, remaining in his fifth place position. After a yellow flag period on lap 26, Long found himself battling for position with Michael Cooper, Johnny O’Connell, and Bryan Sellers, but was unable to improve, landing himself a fifth place finish.
It was later learned that due to a competitor’s infraction made during Race 1, Long would be advanced from second place to the pole position for the start of Race 2. Just two laps into Race 2, championship rival, Alvaro Parente came up from behind Long on the front straight and took over the lead going into Turn 1. From there, Long bridged a strong gap in second place, where he ultimately ended up finishing on Sunday afternoon.
Following this weekend’s event, Long has taken over the overall championship lead with a 3-point margin over Michael Cooper, whom he was tied with at the start of the weekend. He has also maintained the Sprint championship lead with 5-points over Alvaro Parente.
A strong qualifying run put Schein on the GTA pole for the start of Race 1. Unfortunately this didn’t last long as he was overtaken by Soforonas going into Turn 1. Schein however, was in no position to back down as he battled with Sofronas for the entirely of the 50-minute sprint race. He ultimately took a second place with a lap time good enough to put him back on pole for the start of Race 2.
At the start of Race 2, we saw a similar story as Sofronas jumped around Schein for the GTA lead. From there, the pressure was on and not a lap went by where Sofronas's mirrors weren't filled with Wright Motorsports red. The battle continued until the final lap, when Schein made a final attempt to pass Sofronas, but had to settle for second place, just 0.174 of a second out of the lead.
Patrick Long // Driver, No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R – “It was a strong effort and I'm very proud of the Wright Motorsports team. It's a special race since it's the team’s home event so for them to get us on the podium, it still feels pretty good. We struggled a bit, but (team members) Bobby (Viglione) and Johnny (Wright) continued to narrow down the setup. Our best session of the weekend was Race 2. After the challenges we dealt with here last year, second place not only feels good, but keeps us in the points.”
Michael Schein // Driver, No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R – “Wright Motorsports gave me a great car to battle with this weekend. James (Sofronas) made two cracking starts and got ahead of us. From there on out, Mid-Ohio is such a tough place to make a clean pass. We put the pressure on him for both races, but couldn’t get him to make a mistake. We’re looking forward to Utah Motorsports Campus. Hopefully we’ll have some better luck there.”