As the checkered flag waved at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Wright Motorsports completed a Blancpain GT World Challenge America season of success and adversity. Despite showing tremendous speed and agility, a challenging weekend, plagued with misfortune saw the Wright Motorsports team earn a pair of third place Pro/Am class podiums for the No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Anthony Imperato and Matt Campbell and two DNF results for Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove’s No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Following the end of the 7-stop calendar, these results yielded a third place for both Porsche in the Manufacturer Championship and Wright Motorsports in the Team Championship. With the help of Porsche Young Professionals, Matt Campbell and Dennis Olsen, Anthony Imperato secured second in the Pro/Am category, while Patrick Long and Scott Hargrove finished fifth in the overall championship contingent.
“Looking back on the season, I’m very proud of the entire Wright Motorsports organization,” said Wright Motorsports Principal, John Wright. “While things didn’t always fair in our favor, we always brought a competitive package with quick drivers, flawless pitstops and a pair of Porsches capable of winning races. Thank you to the entire team at Wright Motorsports, Porsche Motorsport North America and our partners at Henry Repeating Arms and Porsche Consulting for supporting our efforts. We leave 2019 with our heads held high, prepared to come back stronger in the new season.”
There were a lot of unknowns for everyone entering the season-ending rounds at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 2.51-mile roval. Fortunately for Wright Motorsports, the group started off on a high after Hargrove and Imperato qualified second in their respective classes for Race 1. For Race 2, Long locked in the third place starting slot and Campbell secured sixth overall and second in class.
Race One started in the best of ways after Hargrove made a move around Soucek, putting the No. 58 Porsche into the overall lead. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long as a penalty was issued in sequence, forcing Hargove to give the position back. From there, the Porsche Select Driver slipped back to second, where both he and Long would defend their position over a charging Ferrari until the final two laps when the No. 58 was forced into the pits with a tire delamination.
It was a similar start for Imperato, who took the No. 91 up two positions to fourth overall and first in the Pro/Am category. The New Yorker battled amongst Pro-class competitors before ultimately handing the Porsche off to Campbell who re-entered second in class. Twenty-minutes into the second half, the Porsche Young Professional made a move for the class lead. Despite taking the checkered flag fourth overall and first in class, a 22-second penalty was issued several hours after the event due to contact when Campbell gained the position,
Similar to the opener, the green flag for Race 2 saw the No. 58 under high pressure from the field; particularly being that all 13 cars had their pro drivers at the helm. After slipping back to fourth overall from his third place starting position, Long was able to hold off Dane Cameron until the poor luck of 2019 struck one final time. Just before the pit window opened up, Long slowed on course with a mechanical, believed to be caused by debris from the tire delamination in Race 1.
Campbell meanwhile, had the controls of the No. 91 from its sixth place starting position. The Porsche Young Professional driver highlighted the first half of the race, as he put on a fierce battle with Dane Cameron for the class lead. After pitting towards the end of the window, Imperato rejoined the field second in class and prepared to do the same, but with Cameron’s teammate, Mike Hedlund. Unfortunately, lapped traffic became an issue when contact with an Am-class competitor led to a drive through for Imperato. He re-entered the field sixth overall and third in class, where he ultimately finished the race.
Despite the hurdles, the Wright Motorsports team was able to cap off the season salvaging seventeen class podiums between the two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and one overall win for the No. 58 Porsche in Sonoma. The team is already hard at work, preparing for the upcoming season with further information expected in the coming months.
No. 58 Wright Motorsports/ Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R
“It wasn’t the best way to wrap up what was a promising day on track. We assume that the misfortune in Race Two was a reaction to what happened in the first race. When we look at the season as a whole, I think we have a lot of things to be proud of and a lot of challenges and frustrations to put behind us. I’m grateful for all of our sponsors and partners who have allowed us to do this. We will be back in some capacity in 2020 and be prepared to go for another championship.”
No. 58 Wright Motorsports/Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R
“I think in times like these it’s best to reflect on what a great year it’s been with Wright Motorsports. It’s been a pleasure to race with them and Pat Long this year. There have been a lot of highlights, the largest one being the win at Sonoma. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we wish there were a few more of those, but at the end of the day that’s racing. Unfortunately, a lot of things happened that were outside of our control this year, but we took it as a team and made the best of it. Thank you to the whole team; I look forward to the future.”
No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
“This was definitely not the weekend we wanted. I’m very disappointed in some of the decisions that were made, but proud of the Wright Motorsports team’s effort. The team gave us a great car and excellent pitstops, but it’s a shame that they couldn’t have been rewarded for it. I’m looking forward to 2020.”
No. 91 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
“We had some great potential this week, but it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. It was a very frustrating end to the year after we showed great pace. Luck just wasn’t on our side the entire year with a lot of factors outside of our control hindering our weekend.”
Source. Wright Motorsports