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Wright Motorsports Bounces Back with Two Podiums at VIRginia International Raceway

After a turbulent start to the weekend, Wright Motorsports salvaged two podium finishes in Race 2 at VIRginia International Raceway. The caution free round saw a second place finish for the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove and a third place podium for Anthony Imperato and Matt Campbell’s No. 91 Henry Rifles Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The team was in positive spirits after Saturday morning’s qualifying rounds. The first of two sessions saw Long lock in second and Imperato take the pro/am Pole position for Race 1. Race 2 qualifying saw Hargrove drive to third and Campbell qualify tenth, following a brief off-roading excursion.

Race 1
Though it pleaded to be promising, Race 1 was one to forget for the Wright Motorsports team. A string of unfortunate luck hit the team head on after the No. 91 lost drive at the start and retired from pole. All systems appeared to be a go for the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R after a great start allowed Long to stick his second place starting position.

From there, the Californian spent the next 45-minutes filling Alvaro Parente’s mirrors and defending his position from a charging Miguel Molina, before handing the controls off to Hargrove, who picked up right where he left off. During the final 4-minutes, the Canadian was putting heavy pressure on the Bentley for the lead when a misjudgment coming out of Turn 10, forced the No. 58 off course and into an early retirement.

Race 2
Race two saw a much different storyline after a strong start by Hargrove allowed him around the Bentley into Turn 3 and right into the overall lead. The Porsche Selected driver was able to put his head down and extend the lead margin to six seconds, until the end of his stint, when a tire issue became apparent. The moment the pit window opened, Hargrove dove into the pits and Long reentered in third. While this effected the team’s strategy, Long was able to close the gap, take advantage of the second place car’s mishap and bring it home in second for the Wright Motorsports team.

After starting from an untraditional tenth overall and fifth in class, Campbell found himself right in the thick of things as he defended his position from fellow Porsche ace, Wolf Henzler. Despite struggling with the car, the Australian was able to make up one position before handing the Porsche off to Imperato fourth in class. From there, Imperato didn’t look back and drove the Henry Repeating Arms Porsche to a third-place podium in Pro/Am.

The Wright Motorsports team will retake the Blancpain GT World Challenge America stage May 16-19 for
Rounds 5 and 6 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Driver Quotes

PATRICK LONG
Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R
“All things considering, we have to be really proud of our rebound to finish second. The car balance was really good. We had a bit of a conservative strategy after a tire issue at the start of the race. Unfortunately, that meant that a couple of cars jumped us in pitstops. We also had a bit of contact with the Ferrari which damaged our toe and left front splitter. It was a difficult race to persevere through, but we were there at the end and that’s what counted. It was a great day for our manufacturer’s championship attack.”

SCOTT HARGROVE
Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R
“After the trip to the tire barrier in Race 1, I felt really bad for the team and Porsche. That was on my shoulders, so I wanted to make up for it and we did. I knew the Bentleys were really strong, so I figured the start was my only chance to get around them. The Ferrari and Bentley went wide at the start, which gave me a good run on the outside of turn three and got me to the front. I pushed as hard as I could until we had a tire issue towards the end of my stint. The second the window opened I pitted, which put us in a tricky strategy situation. From there, Pat did a great job, catching up and closing the gap. It was a great way to end the weekend and I’m excited to move onto CTMP.”

ANTHONY IMPERATO
Driver, No. 91 Wright Motorsports Henry Rifles Porsche 911 GT3 R
“It wasn’t the weekend I wanted, but after the issues we suffered at the beginning of the week we’re happy with a podium. I made some mistakes and am really confident that we had more. We’ll be back stronger at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.”

MATT CAMPBELL
Driver, No. 91 Wright Motorsports Henry Rifles Porsche 911 GT3 R
“It was nice to salvage a podium after a frustrating weekend. The lead up to the race certainly wasn’t ideal, but the Wright Motorsports team did a great job and we had a nice recovery. Hopefully moving on to the next race with Dennis, they can take a step forward and move up the podium ladder for Anthony’s title chase.”

Source. Wright Motorsports

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