The season might be winding down, but Wright Motorsports is prepared to keep the momentum rolling as they head west for Utah Motorsports Campus. This weekend, Patrick Long and Michael Schein will be teaming back up with Jörg Bergmeister and Jan Heylen, respectively, in their Porsche 911 GT3 Rs for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX championship.
The pressure is on for Long as he rolls into Utah Motorsports Campus as the overall championship leader with a 3-point advantage over Michael Cooper. The Porsche factory driver, who stands fifth in the SprintX GT-pro/pro championship with a 41-point deficit to the lead, will be taking every point into account this weekend as he fights to maintain that overall position.
Following a brief absence from competition due to a conflict during the Lime Rock Park event, Bergmeister will be reuniting with Long in the No. 58 Porsche. Both Long and Bergmeister have seen a wealth of podiums at the 3.048-mile, 24-turn circuit, two of which they earned together as American Le Mans Series teammates. The track is a particularly special one for Bergmeister, who clinched his first Daytona Prototype championship at Utah Motorsports Campus in 2006. The Porsche factory duo looks to build off of that success starting with Race 1 on Saturday morning.
It’s been a picture perfect season for Schein and Heylen, who have yet to finish a race off the podium in the SprintX format. Coming off two victories at Lime Rock Park, they lead the SprintX driver’s championship with a 15-point advantage over James Sofronas in the GT-pro/am category. The points chase is far from over, but given their season success and Schein’s two second place finishes at the circuit in 2016, the momentum is high for the pilots of the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The Pirelli World Challenge grid will take the green flag for Race 1 on Saturday at 1:40pm PST, followed by Sunday’s Race 2 at 12:30pm PST. The 60-minute races can be seen live at world-challenge.com.
Patrick Long // No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “The SprintX format has been an up and down affair for us in the Wright Motorsports Porsche this year. We’ve had three odd race incidents outside of our control combined with a couple of strong podiums. The goal from here on is to iron those peaks and valleys out and finish consistently strong so that we can continue to fight in the overall championship chase. That is our focus right now, the overall championship. Utah Motorsports Campus is a track that provides a lot great passing opportunities and I look forward to returning this weekend with Jörg.”
Jörg Bergmeister // No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “I have a lot of good memories at Utah Motorsports Campus. I really like the flow of the track and the challenges that it has to offer. I’m looking forward to heading back there and sharing a car with Patrick instead of competing against him like we did during the IMSA weekend at Lime Rock Park. Hopefully we can have a strong result and, if I could wish for something, it would be my first win in the SprintX championship.”
Michael Schein // No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “I’m looking forward to getting back in the car at Utah Motorsports Campus and teaming back up with Jan for SprintX. This was the track that I scored my first professional podium at I was running IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge in 2010, so it’s always special to come back here. Jan and I had a good run with two wins at Lime Rock Park so we’ll do our best to continue that success in our Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.”
Jan Heylen // No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “I’m excited to get to Utah Motorsport Campus and try to do what we’ve been doing all season and go for some solid finishes. Mike’s had a lot of success there in the past so I know he’ll be right up to speed and we should be in pretty good shape. The season isn’t over yet though, so our goal for this weekend would be to come away with a bit more of a cushion in the points going into the end of the championship.”
Source. Carlin Sanderson/Porsche