EVENT PREVIEW: 2021 Championship Reaches Halfway Point at Lime Rock Park

BATAVIA, Ohio. (July 14, 2021) – The battle for each of the 2021 IMSA Championship titles heats up this weekend at Lime Rock Park for the next rounds of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge. The “Road Racing Center of the East” will host the condensed weekend, in which Wright Motorsports will enter a Porsche in each series, with both races taking place on Saturday, July 17th.

“It will be a brief but fun weekend at Lime Rock Park,” said Team Owner John Wright. “After last year’s race was canceled due to the pandemic rescheduling, it’s great to finally be back racing at such a special track. Our cars should be strong, and we’re hoping to add some more points to our championship standing as we get closer to those titles.”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
In the WeatherTech GTD class, the duo of Patrick Long and Trent Hindman will have their first sprint race together following Ryan Hardwick’s recent decision to focus solely on this Michelin Pilot Challenge GS racing effort. Long and Hindman celebrated a strong qualifying session at the previous round, the Six Hours of the Glen, earning a second-place starting position and third-place qualifying points. Qualifying will be crucial this weekend at Lime Rock Park, as the 1.5-mile, seven-turn road course offers little room for passing or rest. Pit stop strategy and execution, an area where Wright Motorsports continuously shines, will also play a large role in the final race results, as it will provide strong competitors with an additional opportunity to gain position on a tight course.

The Northeast Grand Prix will consist of a tight schedule, with practice one, two, and qualifying all being held on Friday, July 16. Saturday, July 17 will kick off with an early warm-up, and the field will take the green flag at 3:00 PM Eastern, live on TRACKPASS, and tape-delayed on NBCSN at 5:30 PM Eastern. Before the race goes green, IMSA will host its usual pre-race open-grid fan walk, where fans will be invited to pit lane to view the cars and meet the teams. Wright Motorsports will host pit stop demonstrations during this time, open to all fans to watch. The open grid fan walk will run from 2:05 PM to 2:50 PM.

DRIVER QUOTES

Patrick Long
No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
Lime Rock is sports car racing’s version of a bullring; very tight, technical, and hard to pass on. The team’s racecraft and strategy must be picture perfect. Car-wise, it’s a difficult one for tire life. Over the history of the track, the Porsche 911 has proven very well suited for Lime Rock with the car’s agility and light-touch attitude. Driving this track tests the driver’s mentality as you are often in tight quarters traffic and there is little time for a break. I like how the race rewards entrants who really put a complete race together.

Trent Hindman
No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
Lime Rock marks the first non-endurance event of the year for me with the 1st Phorm, Wright Motorsports Porsche. Fortunately, it is a racetrack I know quite well since it’s the IMSA round that lands closest to home. Just looking at how strong Wright Motorsports has been at Lime Rock in the past and obviously Pat’s history of success here, I’d like to think we will land well towards the front of the grid. The opportunity to get to know this team through three major endurance races before heading into the sprint-focused portion of our year gives great confidence in what we have together.

Michelin Pilot Challenge
After a series of second-place finishes, the team’s Michelin Pilot Challenge program is hungrier than ever to secure a first-place finish. After missing the first race of the season, the driving duo of Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen has brought the No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport up to fifth in the championship standings with five races remaining. The Lime Rock Park 120 will run for two hours, beginning at 11:05 AM Eastern. Fans can watch live on NBC Sports Gold’s TRACKPASS or imsa.tv.

DRIVER QUOTES

Ryan Hardwick
No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Lime Rock is always a fun track to race at! Our Porsche should be strong around there, so we will be gunning for the top step on the podium. We are getting a little tired of finishing in second place so many times, so we will be pushing hard for our first win in the GS class. It’s going to be a hot one, but we are prepared and ready.

Jan Heylen
No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Lime Rock Park is one of my favorite tracks in the U.S., so I’m excited to be going back, and in GT4. It is going to be a busy race with a lot of action. I’m very excited to go back. We’ve come off another podium finish a few weeks ago at Watkins Glen, and hopefully, we can continue on that streak and score more points to get us in the top three and closer to the leaders in the championship. We’re all ready for a good, close battle on a very busy Lime Rock track.

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1st Phorm
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
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
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. In 2020, the team captured the GT World Challenge America Am championship.. For more information, visit wrightmotorsports.com



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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