Without challenges, there is no progress. Wright Motorsports got a taste of progress at Lime Rock Park after kicking their day off from the pole position and ending it with a challenge; which hindered the chances of a podium for the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Christina Nielsen.
A brilliant start from the pole allowed Long to build a wide margin over the rest of the field. The Californian had his lead stretched to 25-seconds when he dove into the pits at the 45-minutes mark. After a smooth full-service stop, Nielsen took over the controls and jetted off in second place.
From there, the Dane spent her entire stint battling it out amongst top GTD contenders, without stepping out of the top four. Nielsen was running so comfortably in third place that when she gave the car back to Long, he was able to reenter in the same position.
Upon exiting the pits, the Porsche works driver was prepared to make a charge to the front. A podium finish was well within reach until the final 30 minutes, when things began to go south.
Long was holding onto second with heavy pressure from behind, when an inherent construction issue with the left rear tire became inevitable, making the car nearly undrivable. The team was not aware that it was an inherent issue so Long continued, hoping there would be a caution to pit. Unfortunately, the caution never came, and the problem only worsened as the Porsche dropped to where it ultimately finished— in eighth place.
Despite the end result, this weekend simply proved that the Batavia, Ohio based group has what it takes. They will carry all the momentum they need into Round 8 at Road America, August 3-5.
Patrick Long | Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R -“The disappointment is hard to describe. Starting from pole and having a very strong start to the race is only a small conciliation for our end result, which is still a bit mysterious. We had an issue with the left rear tire that took us out of the running. I’m proud of everybody. We had the car to win, but unfortunately this wasn’t our weekend. At this point all we can do is push forward and look for positives in what’s obviously a tough situation.”
Christina Nielsen | Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R –“I was quite happy with my stints. I did well, the team did well in pit stops and driver changes, and we had a good car. Pat and I were having a great run and the tires were fine during the first stints, but on with the last set, there was a tire issue that cost us the podium. It’s one of those weekends that is devastating because it really looked like we were going to get a top-3 finish. This gives us encouragement for the next weekend. After leaving a race week that was so strong, with so much potential, we’re just going to focus on how to carry it on to the next weekend and compete for a podium finish at Road America.”
Source. Wright Motorsports