DAYTONA, Fla., (January 30, 2023) – After a grueling 24 hours of competition, the Wright Motorsports VOLT® Lighting Porsche closed out the first race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a successful debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 R (type 992) ran a mistake and penalty-free race, driven by 2022 Michelin Pilot Challenge champions Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman, with Max Root and Kevin Estre.
The WeatherTech rookies finished the endurance event 11th out of 23 cars, in the largest of the five classes in the Rolex 24.
The team took delivery of the new Porsche in December and quickly began pre-season testing in preparation for the exciting new challenge of competing in the headlining IMSA series. Coming from the two-class, mostly sprint racing series, the step up to WeatherTech required Brynjolfsson and team to prepare for racing against four other classes, and for much longer stints. The new machine showed great speed in private testing and was later subjected to a series of technical adjustments by the sanctioning body in an effort to equalize all the Porsches against its fellow GTD competitors. While the enforced regulations put the German manufacturer’s entries at a disadvantage, the team pressed on, determined to execute strong in the pits and on track, hoping to gain an advantage through their own consistency and the attrition of others.
The bright yellow No. 77 Porsche started the race on Saturday from 16th place, and Brynjolfsson showed his strength behind the wheel at the drop of the green flag. All of his off-season physical and mental preparation paid off, and the bronze-rated driver hit all of his marks, opening the event without a wheel put wrong. Hindman, Root, and Estre were all returning participants and also saw to it that the Porsche ran a clean race, drawing from their previous successes at the event and in the WeatherTech series. Speedy work by the crew in pit lane and expert driving by the four VOLT drivers kept the car clear of calamity and in the race and within 10 laps of the class leaders. Though 14 full-course cautions and 11 retirements, the No. 77 Porsche shone bright, ultimately finishing in 11th, and second of all of the Porsches in the GTD class. The sister Wright Motorsports No. 16 1St Phorm Porsche just ahead in ninth, and the top of the GTD Porsches.
The VOLT Lighting Porsche effort will have their sophomore race at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the second round in the full-season championship and the second of four endurance races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The race will again feature all five classes, running for 12 hours on the legendary Sebring International Raceway, March 15-18. Wright Motorsports won the event in 2020, then followed their victory with a second-place performance the following season. In 2022, the team secured pole position, further solidifying their success at the Florida circuit. For event information, visit imsa.com.