Patrick Long took an exciting win for Round 5 of the Pirelli World Championship at Road America in his No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3 R. He took the checkers 0.239 seconds ahead of Race 1 winner Adderly Fong and extends his championship points lead with a second podium finish of the weekend.
Long jumped out to the front of the Fong on the first lap of the race, giving the Porsche the crucial track position needed for the extend of the 60-minute battle.
Despite starting with the pole position, Fong quickly fell to second the Porshce’s agility in the corners. He challenged the Porsche in his No. 88 Bentley Continental GT3 throughout the race, but no more than in the final 10 minutes of the race. The power of the Bentley allowed the larger coupe to draw closer to the rear of the lighter, more nimble Porsche. Long’s advantage was strong in the twisty bits of the circuit, with Road America providing a level playground for all makes of GT racers.
Johnny O’Connell sought a return to the front after being spun out in the first race of the weeekend. He quickly jumo d up to third after the green flag to capture the final spot on the podium.
Green flag running was interrupted twice including a massive crash for the Gainsco Racing Porsche of John Fogarty and Peter Kox’ Acura NSX GT3. The two made hard contact with each other and the retaining wall on the run into Turn 5, resulting in a red flag. Fogarty followed followed Alec Udell to the inside of Ryan Eversley coming out of Turn 3, but made contact with the No. 43 NSX and spinning into the Porsche. Terminal damaged to both machines and a spray of debris halted the race for about 17 minutes.
James Sofronas took the honors in the GTA class in the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche ahead of John Potter’s Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS.
The next round of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Championship takes place at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course July 28 – 30.