“You win some and you lose some”, but how you adapt is what builds the foundation of a championship-caliber program. The 56th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona saw Wright Motorsports choose perseverance by pushing the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long, Christina Nielsen, Robert Renauer, and Mathieu Jaminet to the checkered flag following a formation lap incident.
Just prior to the drop of the green flag for Saturday’s Rolex 24, things took a turn for the worse when the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R made contact with the barriers between turns four and five. This left the car with significant damage to the left front corner, but with 24-hours on the clock the John Wright-led team wasn’t prepared to back down. Following a two-hour and eight-minute repair, with all hands on deck, the Porsche entered the race 81-laps down.
From there, it was all about the big picture – championship points. With that at stake, the Ohio-based team didn’t miss a beat. The crew completed flawless pit stops, each of the four drivers saw some of the quickest GT Daytona laps and the Porsche performed at a level that would’ve been deemed as highly competitive.
Through attrition and a mistake-free remainder of the race, the Wright Motorsports team ultimately saw the checkered flag from the nineteenth position. This allowed them to not only earn valuable championship points, but to grow closer as a unit and develop important skills by enduring with a variety of conditions throughout a less pressure-filled race.
With that, Wright Motorsports has every intention of returning stronger than ever March 14-17 for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
John Wright // Team Owner, Wright Motorsports – “I am so proud of the people who make up Wright Motorsports. That means every department from accounting to drivers and everything in between. This wasn’t the start we were looking for but it showed us just how deep the team can dig and how much drive we have as a unit. We win as a team and lose as a team, but we never gave up. After we finished the repairs we had a trouble-free race. The pit stops were flawless, the drivers drove perfect stints and the support on the cold side of the pits was also perfect. As this effort shows, we are looking at the big picture and we picked up some very valuable points over the weekend. I want to extend my thanks to Porsche Consulting and Porsche Digital, along with all of those who supported this effort.”
Patrick Long // Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “I’m proud of the effort this team put forward after an unexpected and turbulent start. Endurance racing always has a way of dealing you a card you have never seen and today was no exception. After the incident our focus was to race as hard as possible and hold hope of maximum points toward the end of the season championship. Our car and crew didn’t miss a beat. Thank you our partners Porsche Consulting and Porsche Digital for standing behind us, literally. We will shake this off and focus toward Sebring.”
Christina Nielsen // Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “Of course this was not the Rolex 24 we were hoping for. You always expect something like this to happen to someone else, but this weekend it happened to us — but all we can do is move on. The team did a great job at getting the car back on track, even though it was quite bent up. We did the most with what we had, and we completed a strong run for 22 hours. Even though we were out of contention for the race, it was still important to collect points for the championship and use the time to get more familiar with the car. I was very happy we did finish. I think it’s important to never give up and follow through, which we did, and it’s also why fans voted for Wright Motorsports to win IMSA Radio’s ‘Spirit of the Race’ award. Thank you to Porsche Consulting and Porsche Digital for their support throughout this incredible effort.”
Mathieu Jaminet // Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “Unfortunately, we ran into some trouble during the formation lap. After that point is was more about bringing the car to the end and trying to get points for the team’s season-long championship. I think it was a really tough race for everyone, but I’d love to thank the mechanics because they did a great job repairing the car quickly because it was pretty hurt. I really enjoyed my time with Wright Motorsports and my teammates- Robert, Christina, and Patrick. Once we were on track we had a perfect race with no mistakes. The pace was good and we could’ve fought with the cars. It’s a shame, but this is motorsports and it happens. I’m wishing the best to everyone on the team this season.”
Robert Renauer // Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “This definitely wasn’t the race we were hoping for, but in the end it meant a lot to finish. I made a very bad mistake at the start and it was very hard to fight back. Once we were back in the race everything went very well and we had the pace to keep up with the rest of the class. Unfortunately, we lost over 80 laps, so we weren’t able to compete, but we found championship points for the team and that’s the most important thing today.”
Source. Wright Motorsports/Photo Porsche