Following a season of both success and adversity for the Wright Motorsports team, the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championship comes to a close this weekend at Road Atlanta. Climbing back behind the wheel of the No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R, Patrick Long, Christina Nielsen and Robert Renauer look to wrap things up on a high note at the Motul Petit Le Mans.
The 10-hour endurance classic will see multi-class competition race from morning into night through the rolling hills of Braselton, Georgia. While the championship may be out of reach, the Ohio-based squad will enter the weekend sixth in the standings, free of pressure and prepared to close out the season with a big result.
Certainly no stranger to the 2.54-mile circuit, Long will be entering his sixteenth consecutive Motul Petit Le Mans. That streak has seen an impressive three victories for the Porsche works driver [2005, 2006, 2007], the most recent one being an overall win in the Porsche RS Spyder.
The Georgia road course remains a special one for Nielsen, who will be returning to the first event she drove on American soil. The Dane first took the track in 2013 with an American Le Mans series Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and most recently earned a podium result with a second-place finish in 2016. She hopes to best that result by one position in her sixth Motul Petit Le Mans.
It’s been a busy summer for Robert Renauer, who returns to the team after clinching the 2018 ADAC GT Masters championship driving at Porsche 911 GT3 R for his family-owned team, Herberth Racing. This weekend marks the German’s second attempt at the Motul Petit Le Mans after taking a second place podium in 2015. Like Nielsen, Renauer hopes to see the next step on the podium on Saturday evening.
The 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championship season closer will kick off Saturday, October 14 at 11:05am
Patrick Long | Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R –“I like our chances here. Ten vehicles in our GTD category are capable of winning, but we’re well prepared and want to conclude the season with a podium result. Petit Le Mans is a sprint race mentality, but with the heavy traffic and high frequency of yellows, we’ll have to play our fuel strategy wisely and stay out of trouble. It’s also a home event for Porsche with their North American headquarters being in Atlanta, so we’ll have a lot of support on hand and be ready to give it 100%.”
Christina Nielsen | Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R – “Petit Le Mans is probably my favorite race. It’s a great event. Ten hours is a good length for a race which is long but is still completed in one day. Road Atlanta is where I fell in love with American racing: Petit Le Mans was the first event I drove at in America, the first race I attended, and the first track I ever raced at in the US. This track is fast and flowy, making it high risk and high reward — it’s a true American track which I love. I look forward to having Robert back in the car. I’ve really enjoyed this season with Wright Motorsports and with Patrick, so I truly believe we have the potential to be on the podium and that we can finish off with a strong result in the Porsche!”
Robert Renauer | Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R –“It’s nice to be back at a track in the states, where I had a very good result in 2015. I finished second, so I definitely want to be one step higher on the podium this year. I’ve been following the really great pace of Pat and Christina over the last couple of races, so I’m optimistic for a good final race of the 2019 season. The team just had a productive test at Road Atlanta, so we will be well prepared when it goes to green on Thursday for the first practice.”
Source. Wright Motorsports