Wright Motorsports has announced a two-car return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with newcomer Ryan Hardwick joining Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (photo above) as full-season drivers of its No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Fresh off his rookie season in GTD, 2018 Super Trofeo and SRO America GT Cup champion Hardwick brings sports nutrition company 1st Phorm and motorcycle and powersports retailer Mountain Motorsports as sponsors to the 2020 Wright program.
“I couldn’t be more excited about how things came together during the off season with Wright Motorsports and Porsche Motorsport North America,” said Hardwick. “This team is truly where I belong. I immediately felt comfortable and right at home with these guys. I’m also super stoked to have the opportunity to share the driver seat this season with Patrick Long. As a long-time Porsche enthusiast, I’ve been a fan and watched Pat compete for years. Getting the chance to actually race alongside and learn directly from him, is a real honor.
“Daytona can’t come soon enough. I’m ready to get after it!”
Similarly upbeat is three-time ALMS GT and Pirelli World Challenge champion Long, whose 27 wins puts him in the top 25 of over 1,000 drivers to earn at least one IMSA victory and who has a longstanding relationship with team owner John Wright.
“We know the model of consistency gets you in championship contention, but sheer performance and victories are likely going to have the final say,” said Long. “I revel the chance to mount a challenge for a title, but I have no doubt we are in the most competitive era of GT racing this country has ever seen.
‘I really like where we ended up in 2018 with Wright Motorsports and our IMSA GTD effort. It’s great to get back into the groove and the plan is to pick up where we left off. Ryan is a refreshing personality and he seems as driven and focused as any driver on the grid, pro or not. That’s a great combination and I like where we have been able to get as teammates in a very short span of time. I am grateful to our partners in believing in our combination of a driving pair.”
The additional drivers for the four Michelin Endurance Cup events will be announced at a later date. The remaining eight 2020 rounds will be comprised of shorter sprint races, where Hardwick and Long will be the only drivers to share the wheel during the race. The season will officially begin January 23-26 with the Rolex 24 At Daytona.