Wright Motorsports is putting quality over quantity despite an expansive operation that will see the longtime Porsche customer team compete in three professional sports car racing series full-time this year.
The championship-winning Ohio-based organization is running simultaneous full-season programs in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and GT World Challenge America powered by AWS for the first time.
It comes in addition to its Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama operation, which kicks off this weekend at St. Petersburg, as well as numerous club-level programs and support.
“I always look at it as we’re a logistics company with a racing problem,” team owner John Wright told Sportscar365.
“I’m fortunate enough to have enough rolling assets to be able to support the programs. It does take duplicate sets of equipment to be able to do that.”
Wright explained the team has dedicated transporters and crew for all three programs although there is “some crossover” in personnel.
Erin Gahagan serves as team manager for Wright’s two-car WeatherTech Championship effort, while technical director Bobby Viglione plays a vital role in the GTWC America program, which had its opening rounds last weekend at Circuit of The Americas, where the Max Root and Fred Poordad won both races in GT3 Am.
Wright said they can have upwards of 40 staff on their itinerary for IMSA weekends this year when GT3 Cup Challenge is paired with the WeatherTech Championship.
“I’m not big on sharing human resources between programs just because I feel that the customer that’s paying for our service loses out a little bit,” he explained.
“It also keeps everyone focused on what they’re doing.
“In order to do that, it takes a lot of strong people behind you to stay focused when a lot is happening.”
Larry Jackson serves as the team’s logistics manager and orchestrates the precise movements of the programs.
“Larry has a movement schedule so that he’s coordinating some shared equipment that needs to be transferred from truck to truck,” Wright said.
“It’s all documented and we’re scheduling out three months in advance to make sure we have the truck drivers in place.
“The SRO schedule fits in nicely with the IMSA schedule so it does give you some cushion. It’s a good thing there aren’t any overlapping weekends.
“From the Cup standpoint, after St. Pete and Barber, we’ll have the weekends will all be together with the WeatherTech Championship.”
The team’s GT3 Cup Challenge program kicks off this weekend with a single-car effort for Charlie Luck, although Wright is hopeful of having a second Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car starting with the third round of the season at the team’s home race at Mid-Ohio.
“For us, I feel quality is very important,” he said. “Our Cup program, for instance, there’s opportunity to take on every phone call that you get to run a Cup car.
“Quite frankly, some clients aren’t exactly ready to be in Cup. We then offer another program to get them ready.
“We feel like the more that you stack on, the less quality you have. We are spread across the board but have a standard of quality we like to provide.”
New Wright “South” Shop Established Due to Customer Demand
The team’s new workshop in Stuart, Fla. adds another piece to the logistics puzzle although has been established as a strategic move for both customers and crew, according to Wright.
“We found that we had a lot of inquiries from that area to provide service on the club side and also just to help support gentlemen drivers that take Cup cars out and run them and would like to have a little bit extra engineering or coaching support,” he explained.
“We strategically went into that area to be able to support their needs.
“Typically from October through April, we’re in Florida 90 percent of the time anyway. So it does cut down the travel time and the mileage on the trailers going back and forth from Cincinnati.
“The shop in Florida is always something we have looked into and explored it a number of times. This year we decided we would make that leap.”
Wright said the off-season expansion into a second shop has also been made in part due to its fly-in crew, which are largely based in Florida.
“Fourteen or 15 of our subcontractors that’s been working for us live in that area as well,” he said.