Porsche factory ace Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) secured his second career Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Overall GT Driver Championship with a pair of podium finishes in the series’ finale at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. In addition, the 13-year “works” driver’s performance in the No. 58 Porsche Consulting Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R secured the Sprint Championship GT Driver title, the GT Team Championship for Wright Motorsports and Porsche the GT Manufacturer’s title.
In the GTA class, James Sofronas (Villa Park, California) leaves the 2017 PWC season with the SprintX, Sprint and Overall Driver titles. The No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 R was able to sweep the SprintX and Overall accolades at the SprintX finale at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA). The Sprint Championship came to Sofronas with his second-place result, behind Michael Schein (Glen Cove, New York) in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports 911 GT3 R, on Saturday at Sonoma. Sofronas put his final mark on 2017 by winning Round 10 of the GTA class at Sonoma.
The SprintX GT Cup AM/AM Driver Championship was awarded to Joe Toussaint (Houston, Texas) and Cory Friedman (Charleston, South Carolina) in their No. 90 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at COTA while the SprintX GTS PRO/AM Championship titlists are Adam Merzon (Greenwich, Connecticut) and Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey) with the Case-It Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
Long, the 2011 Champion of North America’s premiere sprint format GT racing series, earned a third-place finish and set the race’s fastest lap in Round 9 of the ten-race Sprint championship. The result guaranteed the Overall Championship for the two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans-winner and the Manufacturer title for Porsche. Starting from the pole position by virtue of Saturday’s fastest lap, Long fell into second-place and made several attempts for the lead in Sunday’s Round 10. However, he would finish the 50-minute race in second-place. The podium result locked the Sprint championships for Long, Wright and Porsche.
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It’s been a magical weekend for Wright Motorsports and Porsche. The Overall and Manufacturer’s championship is what we set out to win and I wouldn’t have imagined being able to close it out with one round remaining. It’s been a long wait since the end of last year when we came so close. Everyone at Wright and Porsche put their heads down and came to the track prepared every single weekend this season.
To finish with a double podium on a high stakes, high-pressure weekend is a different type of test for a driver. We could’ve come into this and taken ‘intentional walks’ of mid-pack finishes to capitalize on the overall, but that is not us. The guys at Wright Motorsports put in tireless hours this year. During the race week, they’re here long after the drivers leave and long before we show up. These guys deserve to be up there on the stage to join in the celebration and closing the deal on the team championship was the best way to do that.”