Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen International, Porsche customer racing team Wright Motorsports put in a masterful performance in race one of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS weekend, beating out not only all of the Pro/Am class competitors, but the Pro/Pro-ranked entries as well. Drivers Charlie Luck and Jan Heylen drove the No. 45 to victory after starting in 12th, ending the eleven-race winning streak held by Pro/Pro team K-PAX Racing.
“Race one was an incredible performance by everyone on our team,” said Team Owner John Wright. “While other programs struggled with tire issues or suffered contact, Charlie and Jan both had amazing stints, and the crew were able to gain us a spot in pit lane as well. To not only beat out the Pro/Pro lineups but also break such a long streak by another team is definitely something to be proud of. They did a great job.”
Split into three classes Pro/Pro, Pro/Am, and Am, each of the three categories in GT World Challenge America have no shortage of tight competition. The pairing of Charlie Luck (Am) and Jan Heylen (Pro) began the race event second in the championship points, eager to close the gap to Pro/Am class leaders George Kurtz and Colin Braun. Driving the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R from sixth place in class and 12th overall, the 2021 champions had their work cut out for them.
Luck gained three class positions during the opening stint, avoiding the chaos of several on-track incidents and multiple tire issues among the field. The always-rapid work in pit lane by the crew brought the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R out in front of the championship points leader, the No. 04 Mercedes AMG GT3, with Jan Heylen now handling the driving duties for the Porsche. Heylen held off heavy pressure to keep the team in front, claiming the class win. As the team continued its focus on driving to the class victory, their persistence on track paid off as each of the Pro/Pro cars ahead failed to stay up front. Wright Motorsports took the overall win and broke the streak of K-PAX Racing in the Pro/Pro class.
“We had one hell of a day,” said Luck. “I was really happy with the way I got through traffic and moved from sixth to third. We turned the car over to Jan in third and he moved to second-place in the pit stop. Jan just did a heck of a job. If there is anybody who can get every drop of performance out of the car, it’s that man. Phenomenal run today.”
With the victory, the team closed the gap to the points leaders to a mere seven markers.
“That was an awesome race,” said Heylen. “I feel like we really needed that to get the championship back on track and close the gap. I’m super happy. The car was pretty good, and it was a great stint by Charlie with all the pressure from behind. We beat the Mercedes out of the pits, so as always, that was a great stop by the team. It was just a fun race with the pressure from Colin Braun behind for the whole time. It was a great effort by all!”
The team races again on Sunday afternoon, taking the green flag at 1:15 PM ET.
Source. Wright Motorsports
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