Batavia, Ohio-based Wright Motorsports has announced a return to IMSA competition in the GT Daytona category after a championship winning 2017 season in Pirelli World Challenge with Porsche's Patrick Long. For the 2018 season, Long will return for his third season in-a-row with Wright to team with two-time reigning GTD class champion Christina Nielsen of Denmark. The pair will race a new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the competitive class against competition from Acura, Audi, Lexus, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Lamborghini.
Patrick Long:“I am thrilled to continue my journey with Wright Motorsports for the 2018 season. We will have our work cut out for us starting the season with two of the biggest international endurance races in sports car racing, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, but I am confident in the group’s ability. Christina has been on an amazing run with her two titles over the last two years and I want to blend that momentum with our 2017 title and aim for victories right out of the box. I’m very excited to get things started at Daytona.”
More About Christina Nielsen
Nielsen had an impressive run in the IMSA championship the last few years, finishing as runner-up to the Championship in 2015, then following that up with consecutive Championships in 2016 and 2017 paired with Alessandro Balzan in Scuderia Corsa's Ferrari GTD effort. For 2018 the Scuderia Corsa team partnered with WeatherTech Racing, meaning that Cooper MacNeil will be stepping in to replace Nielsen as the Silver driver in that car, still paired with Balzan. Nielsen has a history of getting the car in the right position and staying out of trouble while setting decent lap times, which is exactly what the Silver driver needs to do. Paired with a Porsche pro like Patrick Long, who is celebrating his 15th year as America's only Porsche factory driver, she's got a good chance of earning a third GTD championship trophy.
Christina Nielsen:“I am really looking forward to being back in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve come up with such a strong combination with Wright Motorsports and Porsche. I’ve had a great run for the last three years, but it won’t be easy to do what I’ve already done. For me the biggest thing is to go into 2018 without relying on any previous results. We’ll start from scratch beginning with Daytona and go from there.
"I’m also really looking forward to being back with Porsche. I’ve known John Wright since 2014 when I raced against him in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge. We’ve always tried to put something together, but there was never the right opportunity. Luckily an opportunity came up for 2018 and we were there to both grab it. I know I’ll be working with some very experienced and competent people who know what it takes and I can’t wait for the season to start.”
The pair will run together for the first time on January 5th during the Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona.