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Black Swan to Race in Rolex 24 after Wright Chassis Donation

Helping hand from Wright Motorsports keeps Black Swan on the entry for the Rolex 24…

Photo: Barry Cantrell/IMSA

Black Swan Racing is set to take part in the Rolex 24 at Daytona after the team managed to source a replacement Porsche 911 GT3 R chassis from competitor Wright Motorsports.

The original Black Swan car was damaged beyond repair in an accident during Thursday morning’s practice session.

This put the GT Daytona class team under pressure to find a new chassis that it could use for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

Team owner/driver Tim Pappas told Sportscar365 that Porsche and Wright Motorsports offered to help Black Swan by donating a chassis for the race.

“We had an unfortunate accident this morning and Porsche and the customer teams have all come forward to find whatever way we could make it possible to keep going,” he said.

“Wright has a chassis that is here that we can make into our car by removing everything off our car and putting it on theirs, and we can basically give them a replacement chassis when we’re done.

“We’re kind of in the same situation that we would have been in terms of buying a new chassis. We’re just getting it done sooner rather than waiting to ship something across.”

Black Swan now needs to transfer its original car’s powertrain and suspension components onto the Wright chassis to be eligible for the race.

The front-end nature of Trenton Estep’s practice crash meant that the internals of the original Porsche were not damaged and therefore transferable.

As the team prepared to start the build, Pappas – who is to share driving duties with Estep, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Sven Mueller – expressed appreciation at Porsche and Wright’s moves to ensure that his team could make the start.

“All of Porsche and the individual customer teams came to us immediately after the shunt and said, ‘what can we do to help’,” he said.

“At the time, we didn’t really have an answer because we weren’t sure what options were on the table.

“Just after talking things through and realizing that there wasn’t a possibility of anything else happening, the Wright team then made this option available.

“That was incredibly kind of them and I think it’s indicative of how well the Porsche teams all work together.

“We’ve been there before and helped out our fellow Porsche teams [so] it’s nice when you’re in the darkest hours that they step up to help you.”

Black Swan intends to be back out on track for Friday morning practice which starts at 9:55 a.m. EST.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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