RECAP: Wright Motorsports Collects Hoard of Trophies at NOLA Motorsport Park
NEW ORLEANS, La., (May 1, 2023) – Another race weekend is complete in SRO America, and Wright Motorsports leaves New Orleans, Louisiana with a stockpile of trophies, celebrating one win and two additional podium finishes with the No. 120 Porsche 911 GT3 R and No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Competing in both the GT America powered by AWS and the Fanatec GT World Challenge America championships, the team had a strong points-earning weekend, making great strides in both title efforts.
GT America Powered by AWS
After a strong qualifying session, Adam Adelson set himself up to start the first race of the weekend from second place in the SRO3 class. He had a clean start, sliding in behind race leader Memo Gidley in the No. 101 Mercedes. Gidley pulled away and created a lead over the field while Adelson battled with The No. 27 Mercedes of Jason Daskalos for second place. Daskalos took the position as the No. 427 Mercedes of Anthony Bartone also closed in. As the lead group worked their way through slower cars, two of the cars ahead of Adelson had contact, and he took advantage, sailing his way to third place. He earned his second podium of the season, also setting himself to start the following day’s race from fifth place. Race two produced a calm and quiet 40-minute sprint. While Adelson slid into sixth place on the start, he worked his way up to fourth position in no time, where he ultimately finished. His third and fourth-place finishes will aid in his quest for the championship title, which will continue May 19-20 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Fanatec GT World Challenge America
The pair of Wright Porsches entered the first race of the weekend with high energy, confident with the racing package heading to the start. A large storm front delayed the start of the race, leaving the track wet enough for the competitors to start the race at dusk with rain tires. Adam Adelson and the No. 120 Porsche started the race second in class next to Scott Smithson in the No. 08 Mercedes. Starting single-file, the field of sports cars kicked up spray at the drop of the green flag, and Adelson made quick work to pass Smithson to take the class lead. He led the class for the duration of his stint, racing on the rapidly-drying track, eager to keep the gap over Smithson. His impressive stint was error-free, and he pitted at the halfway point to get fuel, slick racing tires, and a driver change to Elliott Skeer. From the start of his stint, Skeer resisted heavy pressure from veteran Bryan Sellers in the No. 08 Mercedes, maintaining the class lead through a pair of full-course cautions. The top result marked the second win and third podium of the season for the Pro/Am pairing.
Charlie Luck started the race from eighth place in the No. 45 and had a strong start to take sixth place in the opening laps. He fought his way into the top three with one hour, and nine minutes left in the 90-minute race with a masterful pass of the No. 04 Mercedes of George Hurts on the front straight. The track slowly dried out and he held the position to the completion of his stint, handing the No. 45 Porsche over to Jan Heylen at the halfway point. Heylen rejoined the race in third, but a side-by-side battle with Colin Braun in the No. 04 Mercedes led to the Porsche suffering race-ending damage to the left rear wheel and the accompanying section of the car.
Lady Luck switched favorites the following day in race two on Sunday afternoon. The No. 120 Porsche started race two from eleventh, driven by Elliott Skeer. He had a strong start, gaining two class positions in the opening laps, and earning his way up to the middle of the pack by the time he needed to complete the mandatory pit stop. Adelson took over at the halfway point and immediately started gaining ground in green flag racing. After passing three cars, he found himself fighting for a podium position, but contact with another car hampered his run, resulting in a tenth-place finish.
Meanwhile, Jan Heylen started race two from second place, but a drive-through penalty was assessed due to an improper start. Rejoining at the rear of the field, Heylen tried to make the most of his stint, though much ground was already lost on the field. Charlie Luck took over the No. 45 Porsche at the halfway mark, joining the race from ninth. As the clock inched closer to the completion of the race, the competition on track heated up, and Luck charged through the field, putting on a masterful display of race craft. With just eight minutes remaining, he was already sixth in class and then found himself battling for third in the final laps. He took the position in the last lap, producing an impressive rebound for the father and son-in-law duo.
The pair of Porsches will resume their assault on the championship May 18-19 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Charlie Luck // No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R
This weekend was an enormous team effort. The bottom line is we all have bad races and we all have good races, and Jan and I have swapped places in that regard. Last year, this race, I crashed out in the first race. Saturday in the rain, I think I had angel wings on because I was so freaking fast and I love the rain. It’s a real credit to a lot of karting in the cold and in the rain. Then today, we had a drive through and then we worked our way back up to third. I’m really proud of the repair job that was done. They were up all night. This is a super team of people and I can’t wait for the rest of the season.
Jan Heylen // No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Charlie saved the day today. Race two was a really good drive by Charlie both yesterday and today. He had an awesome weekend. It wasn’t a good race for me, which put us on the back foot. But I’m happy for Charlie and to be back on the podium. It was a good points day for us.
Adam Adelson // No. 120 Porsche 911 GT3 R
I think Wright is the best Porsche team in this paddock. They have been so incredibly welcoming to both Elliott and I. They’ve been absolutely amazing with getting us up to speed and building that camaraderie between us as members of the team and everybody else who’s been working together for years. Elliott is always in my corner. He’s always supporting me. I have some amazing friends here supporting me. I’m just so glad I was able to take what I’ve learned over the past couple of years and apply it right here this weekend.
Elliott Skeer // No. 120 Porsche 911 GT3 R
Eight years after winning here with Wright, I’m back with Wright at NOLA with the same result. I’m incredibly happy with everyone involved in this. Not only do you need a good race car, and that’s from the entire team, you need good engineering on top of the car. In this sport you need to have a good a co-driver. The fact that we have it all together really just means I have to bring it home at the end of the day, especially when Adam had the car up front in race one. I just managed what I needed to and battled where I needed to, and bring home Wright Motorsport 911 GT3 R as high as we could.