Wright Motorsports returned to the podium at VIRgina International Raceway after a thrilling race and last lap maneuver, secured the second place position for the No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Christina Nielsen.
After settling for sixth in a rain-intteruped qualifying session, an extra spark of determination was lit in the Wright Motorsports team. Long made that apparent from the green flag after he launched around Snow and quickly reeled in Marcelli for fourth place. From there, he held onto the bumper of Auberlen’s BMW and maintained his position before pitting at the one-hour mark.
After a clean stop, Nielsen maintained fourth upon retuning to the track. From there, the Porsche Select driver battled stiff competition amongst a tight GTD field and stuck third position. Following a short yellow, the Dane slipped into the pits for a splash of fuel allowing the group an extra bit of cushion to make it to the end.
There was an hour remaining on the clock when Nielsen pitted for the Porsche’s final full service stop. After a minor mishap during the stop, Long rejoined the field back in eighth position. The Californian knew he’d have his work cut out for him, but that was a challenge he was willing to accept.
Through a combination of speed, attrition and heads up driving, Long made up a 13-second deflect and found himself in a nail-biting battle with Katherine Legge and Dominik Baumann in third place. The white flag was out when Legge and Baumann began running side-by-side going up the backstretch. Long simply wasn’t prepared to settle for third when a brilliant move into the final corner allowed him to slip by Legge and nab the second place position for himself, Nielsen and Wright Motorsports.
Wright Motorsports will rejoin the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the penultimate round of the season, as a part of the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 7-9.
Patrick Long | Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R –“After the last pit stop they said ‘you’re P8’ and I asked ‘how many of those people ahead of us still have to pit?’ The response was ‘zero’. I tightened my belts because this was going to be a long afternoon. The car was magic. We didn’t quite have the pace on the straights or over a long lap, but we knew there was going to be tire degradation. Katherine is obviously running for a championship, so I had to measure up to everybody. I ran a pretty aggressive race. I pretty much gave each guy three laps and if they were blocking me, I kind of had to get a little physical. I ran people the way I would expect other people to run me, but I had a good time out there. Thank you to Wright Motorsports and Porsche for sticking with us. We had a really tough start to the year and now it feels good back in the fight. You always want the win but some days all you can do is take the podium and push forward.”
Christina Nielsen | Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R –“It was a very good day. We had a minor issue — I wasn’t perfect during the final driver change — but other than that, I would say it was a flawless day with our second-place finish. The team executed well and the car was so good to drive. One of the things I’ve been really impressed with is how the team has managed to set up the car to make it fast, but also good over time. The lifespan of the tires is really important for us to do well in these races, and today we showed that that was one of our strongest assets we had to fight with. VIR is one of the most difficult tracks, if not the most difficult track we race at. To have a finish like this really feels good and gives us even more confidence going into our next race at Laguna Seca.”
Source. Wright Motorsports