Hardwick and Heylen to race a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
BATAVIA, Ohio. (January 13, 2021) – With the Roar Before the 24 less than two weeks away, Wright Motorsports has announced an expansion of their Porsche customer racing team to include a full-season entry in the 2021 Michelin Pilot Challenge. Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen will race the No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport , with returning sponsors 1st Phorm, Mountain Motorsports, and Una Vida Tequila.
The idea to run in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge came from Hardwick after watching some of his fellow GTD competitors gain more track time in the support series each weekend. As race weekends were condensed in the 2020 season, seat time became even more valuable for Hardwick, the Am in the Pro/Am lineup with Patrick Long. Other GTD drivers such as Jan Heylen, Corey Lewis, Robby Foley, and Trent Hindman also participated in the Pilot Challenge’s GS class, earning valuable insight an experience to improve with every lap. Hardwick proposed the idea to team owner John Wright, and the pair met with Porsche Motorsport North America.
“We met with Porsche and came to the decision that it would be beneficial to everyone to have the manufacturer represented by a great customer racing team like Wright Motorsports,” said Wright. “Jan will be able to continue his strong driving record in the series, and Ryan will be able to gain more experience to continue to improve his progression in GTD. We know they’ll be a strong pairing and we’ll take full advantage of the extra time on track.”
The Michelin Pilot Challenge currently acts as the support series to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge, sharing ten race weekends with the headlining series. The 2021 schedule is comprised of 10 races, with eight of them having a runtime of two hours, and the remaining two running for four. The first race of the year will be the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, held on Friday, January 29 at 1:35PM Eastern. The race will air in its entirety on imsa.tv and NBC Sports Gold TRACKPASS. The series is comprised of two classes: the Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR). The No. 16 Porsche will compete in the GS class, making its on track debut for the first practice session on Friday, January 22. For full event information, visit imsa.com.
Ryan Hardwick | No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
I have yet to race in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, and I’m really looking forward to racing in a new series. I’m also very excited to be teaming up with Jan Heylen who has already proven to be a front runner in that series. I appreciate the support from John Wright and the team for putting so much work into such a short off season to not only prepare our GTD car for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, but also a new Porsche Cayman for a full season in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. This opportunity will really be a blessing for me in gaining more track time. Jan and I can be competitive for podiums and wins, but I think this will also help us greatly in GTD as well.
Jan Heylen | No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
I’m very excited to start the new season with Ryan and Wright Motorsports in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. It’s great to see Wright Motorsports making their debut in GT4 as well as Ryan making the step to gain more experience and gain track time on the GTD weekends.
There’s nothing like GT4 racing, with lots of action and close racing. It’s everything we love. With the continued support from Porsche Motorsport North America and Wright Motorsport, I know we’ll be at Daytona with a strong car.
1st Phorm is a sports nutrition company based in St. Louis, MO. In 2009, CEO Andy Frisella and his business partner Chris Klein started the brand, and since then, it has become the fastest growing supplement company in the world. 1st Phorm has set the standards in the industry for quality and helping people reach their goals. This new racing partnership is not their first time in the exotic car scene either. 1st Phorm has been the title sponsor for the Gold Rush Rally for six years running. With over a million followers across social media, 1st Phorm has amassed a huge cult-like following known as, “The Legion of Boom.” They stand for a movement in the fitness world. To turn it back to what it was meant to be. Helping others improve their lives, to be a good human… and to drop the excuses and do the work. 1st Phorm is a winning brand and they don’t expect anything less when it comes to their race team. For additional info: www.1stphorm.com
Mountain Motorsports is a group of motorcycle and powersports dealerships with multiple locations in the southeastern United States. The company was founded by lifelong friends Ryan Hardwick and Justin Price when they opened their first location as a single-line Honda dealership in Sevierville, Tennessee in 1999. The company has since grown into one of the largest retailers of motorcycle and powersports vehicles in the nation, spanning nine dealership locations representing eleven of the industry’s most well-known brands. For additional info: www.mountainmotorsports.com
Una Vida Tequila
Una Vida translates to One Life. That is how this brand started. By people who want to live their “One Life” to the absolute fullest and to their highest potential. A group of guys from the Midwest who love great quality tequila, and want their One Life to have meaning and impact others.
One Life, One Tequila is our CORE BELIEF. We’re building the only tequila brand you will ever need to drink. Una Vida is bigger than just tequila we’re also building a culture of people who want to live their life to their utmost potential.
Our story begins and continues to grow bottle by bottle. It’s a life mission for us to create a community of people who all raise a glass knowing they’re living their ONE LIFE! For more information, visit unavidatequila.com
Wright Motorsports is the premier Porsche race engineering facility in Ohio and a multi-series, international racing team known for superb car preparation, expert race strategy and driver development. Located in Batavia, Ohio, it is owned and directed by John Wright, a certified Porsche factory-trained technician. As a crew chief John Wright has played a key role in winning eight driver and seven team championships in World Challenge, IMSA (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Wright Motorsports won the team championship in Porsche GT3 Cup USA in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and went on to win the Pirelli World Challenge Overall, Sprint, Team and Manufacturer’s titles in 2017. The 2020 season will see the team return to IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship. For more information, visit wrightmotorsports.com