SONOMA, Calif., Sept. 19 — Wright Motorsports’ Anthony Imperato of Brooklyn, N.Y. recorded his best finish of the year to date when he placed second in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup race at Sonoma Raceway last Saturday with his Henry Repeating Arms No. 91. He also earned the Yokohama Hard-Charger award for his efforts.
Two other Wright Motorsports drivers posted top-five finishes as the series made its debut at this 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course in California’s wine country. Young McKay Snow of Lehi, Utah, finished fourth in Saturday’s race with his UIS No. 63, while Andrew Longe of Naples, Fla., was fifth in the second half of the doubleheader on Sunday with his Trianon Hotels No. 47.
The Batavia, Ohio-based team’s representative in the Gold Cup division, rookie Charlie Luck of Richmond, Va., finished sixth in class in both 45-minute races staged by the series, which is presented by Yokohama.
Longe finished eighth in class in Saturday’s race, which went nonstop. Snow placed ninth and Imperato was tenth in class on Sunday after contact on the frontstretch which brought out a yellow flag working lap six of the 24 laps that were completed during the time limit.
Imperato qualified third for Saturday’s race with a time of 1:36.829, which was just 0.247 off the pole. He vaulted into second on the first lap of the race and remained in that position for all 28 laps. He set the second-fastest lap of the race on lap three with a 1:38.386.
Snow started fifth on Saturday but he moved into fourth on the first lap and stayed there the rest of the way. With no yellows, the field got spread out on Saturday.
Sunday’s race had two cautions. Longe was fourth from laps eight through 15 before finishing fifth. Luck was fourth in class early before dropping back to seventh near the end, but he made a pass for sixth on the last lap to earn his fourth consecutive sixth-place finish in class.
The doubleheader supported the Verizon IndyCar series season finale. The Porsche GT3 Cup season finale is Oct. 4-7 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., as part of the Petit Le Mans weekend.
According to the provisional point standings after Sunday’s race, Imperato is tied for fifth and Snow is seventh, just two points behind him, while Longe is eighth in the Platinum class. Luck is tied for fifth in the Gold Cup point standings.
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Post-race quotes follow:
Anthony Imperato (to a series official after Saturday’s runner-up finish): “I was a bit too conservative on the start and throughout the race, just trying to manage the tires. I should have pushed a little harder to keep up with Jake [Eidson], but he had strong pace. We had the car to win today and I feel like I should have been closer and could have fought for the win, but I just didn’t push enough. We are going to go for it tomorrow.”
Charlie Luck: “I need to continue to work on my qualifying speed and my skill in qualifying in order to get faster and to be able to maximize a few laps quickly without warm-up laps.
“In qualifying I flat-spotted my right-front tire and we’d just put four new tires on. After some misunderstandings between the team and IMSA, in Race 1 we were required to come in and serve a drive-through penalty after I had passed two people on the track because we had put four new tires on the car before the start of the race.
“For the balance of the race I felt like I drove one of my best, most consistent races of the year, and eventually worked my way back up to sixth place.
“In the second race I dropped several positions in the first four or five laps, but I was running really strong. Then I had contact with Alan Metni when he was passing me in Turn 7. On the following lap Frank Raso and I had contact that resulted in me losing my power steering. I drove the final seven laps with no power steering. I was totally exhausted at the end, and ended up finishing sixth as well.
“I really enjoyed the race track. It keeps the driver really busy. It’s a very precise track, which I enjoy. Overall I still had a good weekend and I still enjoyed it a lot, and I’m looking forward to our final weekend at Road Atlanta.”
About Wright Motorsports:
Wright Motorsports is the premier Porsche race engineering facility in Ohio and a multi-series, international racing team known for superb car preparation, expert race strategy and driver development. Located in Batavia, Ohio near Cincinnati, it is owned and directed by John Wright, a certified Porsche factory-trained technician. As a crew chief John Wright has played a key role in winning 11 driver and eight team championships in World Challenge, IMSA (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Wright Motorsports won the team, driver, and Sprint championship in Pirelli World Challenge in 2017. It also won the team championship in Porsche GT3 Cup USA in 2012, 2013 and 2015. In 2014 it had four podium finishes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. For more information see WrightMotorsports.com and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.