Momentum is key, but consistency in one’s momentum is the key to triumph. For the second straight year, consistency has driven Wright Motorsports to the Pirelli World Challenge season finale with the No. 58 Porsche of Patrick Long sitting in the overall championship lead. This weekend, Long, along with reigning Sonoma victor, Michael Schein will reenter the single driver, 50-minute Sprint format for the final two rounds of the 2017 championship at Sonoma Raceway.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend and am anxious to see the results from all the work that we’ve put into our program this year”, said Wright Motorsports principal, John Wright. “Championship is the key word this week, but I can tell you we are treating this week just as if we were in the middle of the season. The team has aligned itself to have a strong chance at the championship, so there’s no reason to change the formula that we used to get to this point now. I’m excited to see how that pays off.”
With four wins, seven additional podiums, and three overall pole positions on the season, Long has been never once shied from the heat of the 2017 competition. It’ll be much of a déjà vu weekend for the Californian as he rolls into the season closer prepared to go head-to-head with K-Pax Racing’s Alvaro Parente, for the second straight year.
This time around, Long will enter Wine Country leading the overall championship with a healthy 28-point advantage over Parente and 32-points over Cadillac’s Michael Cooper. Sonoma will also see the conclusion of the Sprint championship, which Long also leads by just 5-points over Parente.
“The COTA races were points days that we needed,” said Long. “I’m going to Sonoma with my head still down, 100% full throttle and completely focused because, as we learned last year, it’s never over until it’s over. We just have to push to close this out for the manufacturers, drivers and year-end championship.”
Five second place finishes in seven sprint races is just a small testament to Schein’s ability this season. While the Sprint championship remains an outside chase for the New Yorker, he looks to close things out with a statement on the top step. Sonoma Raceway would be the place to do it, as Schein enters the weekend with the 2016 GTA track record and victory sweep to his name.
“I’m really looking forward to finishing out the year with Wright Motorsports and Porsche. Sonoma is a fun track and we did really well there last year with two wins in our Porsche 911 GT3 R”, said Schein. “The Sprint championship is a bit of an outside stretch at this point, but either way, I’m going to push for two strong results and try to finish out the year on a high note.”
Together, Long and Schein also look to close in on the team championship, which the Ohio-based squad currently leads by 8-points. The group will also be pushing to help Porsche achieve the manufacturer’s title, which they lead by 6-points ahead of this weekend’s event.
Source. Carlin Sanderson/Photo. Porsche