MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA (SEPTEMBER 10, 2018) – Known for it’s fast and unforgiving qualities you can never predict the outcome at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Wright Motorsports will be the first to confirm that after settling for an eleventh place finish in the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
Continuing their traditional strategy, the team elected to qualify Long for the two-hour, forty-minute event. After taking off from the fourth place slot, a hectic race start saw three full course cautions in the first 45-minutes. Despite only having eight laps of green flag racing, Long was able to maintain his composure during the restarts and push forward to the GTD lead.
At the 45-minute mark, the Porsche works driver pitted from the lead and handed the controls off to Nielsen. After a minor miscue in the pitstop choreography, the Porsche was forced into the pits for a driver-side door repair, which led to a major change in strategy.
Once in the car, the Dane ran as high as fourth place with heavy pressure from the rest of the pack. As the race began to set in, many factors including tire degradation came into play, which had the group waiting for a caution that would never come. After completing what was her longest stint and first race finish of the season, Nielsen crossed the line in eleventh place.
Despite the unanticipated result, the Wright Motorsports team is prepared to look for their third podium of the season at the Motul Petit Le Mans. The Batavia Ohio based group will hit Road Atlanta for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale October 11- 13.
Patrick Long | Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R— “I’m happy with the way the race started. All of the cars were on qualifying tires, so pickup and debris were a big factor. We were able to capitalize on the battle in front of us and move ahead of the Legge and Snow. From there it was pretty smooth sailing. When the yellows fell we took a fuel strategy that the No. 73 car proved was the right call. It didn’t work out for our race, but I’m proud of the team for keeping their heads down. It just wasn’t our day.”
Christina Nielsen | Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R—“It was definitely not an easy day. We dealt with tire degradation, and fuel management was also one of the key factors to doing well. We took a chance and it didn’t pay off exactly as we had planned. It was hard with those tires. A normal stint is 22 laps, and I did 53 laps on mine. They were definitely overused. This is a weekend to put behind us. The strategy was a team effort, something we tried to do together. We took a chance, and unfortunately, it didn’t pay off — but that’s racing sometimes.”