Patrick Long says he doesn’t feel any extra pressure in being part of the only full-time Porsche 911 GT3 R entry in GT Daytona, admitting it’s been “business as usual” at Wright Motorsports.
The veteran Porsche factory ace and co-driver Ryan Hardwick currently sit third in the GTD standings following a consistent start to their 2020 campaign that both will be looking to build on in this weekend’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring.
While several other Porsches had been expected to contest the GTD season, including a second Wright entry for the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, the No. 16 entry looks set to fly the flag for the German manufacturer in the balance of the season, largely due to the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Long, however, said that hasn’t changed anything within the John Wright-owned team, except for a little extra attention from Porsche Motorsport North America.
“I do like that David Brown (PMNA technical support engineer, customer racing) kind of floats between the cars when we have multiple entrants. But in this case it’s all of our all of our weight on our shoulders,” Long said.
“John Wright knows what these cars need. Bobby Viglione is is our race engineer.
“It’s interesting when we when we work on this car we rarely hit the track the same twice and Bob has an instinctive way of engineering where he listens to both drivers, we work through the session on changes, and and right after the session.
“Then he goes to work behind the scenes and on the computer and doesn’t ask much more of us and rolls the car out every session completely different and a lot of that has to do with setting up the car statically on on the flat pad and then how it works dynamically on track with aerodynamics, kinematics in the way that the technology is allowed us to have anti-dive and anti-squad and a lot of things that I haven’t been used to in the beginnings of my career.”
Even if Wright’s second Porsche, initially slated for Anthony Imperato and Jeroen Bleeemolen, had been present, Long said it probably wouldn’t have helped their car much given the new compressed two-day weekend format of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“We’ll be business as usual,” he said. “This time with a compressed schedule you really have to roll off the truck and be right on it.”
“If you’re going to compete for a podium you you’ve done your homework and you’re not making massive swings at it because there just isn’t the time. It’s really kind of final practice mode with these compressed schedules.”