Romain Dumas says he has no doubt in Wright Motorsports’ capabilities in this weekend’s California 8 Hours, with the team leading Porsche’s charge in the race in place of Manthey Racing.
Dumas, Fred Makowiecki and Dirk Werner are sharing a Wright-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Intercontinental GT Challenge season finale, following the German manufacturer’s decision to curtail Manthey’s planned full-season IGTC program one race early.
It came after a challenging year for the trio in the works-run entry in both IGTC and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup competition.
The Frenchman is no stranger to Wright, which ran cars in Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year, and shared a Porsche with Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long in last year’s inaugural U.S. round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“They know the car very well, and I drove with this team here last year,” Dumas told Sportscar365. “I have no doubt of what they can do, this is no question. They are very professional, so it’s no problem.”
Dumas says the decision for Wright to effectively take over Manthey’s program for the IGTC finale came as part of Porsche’s commitment to use local teams for the globe-trotting SRO-run series.
While it has used the likes of D’station Racing, KÜS Team75 Bernhard and Competition Motorsports in each team’s local IGTC race this season, Manthey still ran the Dumas-Makowiecki-Werner car at those rounds.
“Porsche decided it, and for IGTC it’s the target to use local teams,” he explained. “In Japan, it was one Porsche with the factory drivers in the Japanese team, and in Bathurst there were cars also from there.
“From U.S., Wright is as capable as Manthey, and they know the place very well. In terms of budget and everything, it makes more sense to do that.”
No additional Manthey or European Porsche staff have been placed at Wright this weekend, with the team instead using the same U.S.-based crew it has run all season.
“They get the [Porsche] people from the U.S. and not from Germany, so from [Porsche Motorsport North America],” Dumas said.
“It’s really more local, as Porsche wants to do, and it’s right to do it like this.”