Porsche customer teams opened the 2021 SRO America race season with a string of victories in each series represented at Sonoma Raceway in California. Porsche scored overall and class victories in each of the three major championships that opened the year on March 5 – 7 at the 2.52-mile race circuit in the California Wine Country of Sonoma.
Leading the way with two victories in the GT America series (single driver, 40-minute events) in the Am class was the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Charlie Luck. Luck, a rookie in the series having made the step up from Porsche one-make racing into GT3-spec machines this year, captured second-place overall as well. Two-spots back overall but third-place in the SRO3 class was Kyle Washington behind the wheel of the No. 32 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 R racer. As the series is also open to GT4-spec cars, rookie Adam Adelson piloted the No. 120 Premier Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport to fourth-place in class, the best finishing of the GT4-spec Porsche race cars.
In the GT World Challenge America – two-driver, 90-minute events – Porsche was carried to the podium by Fred Poordad and Jan Heylen in the No. 20 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car entered by Wright Motorsports. The pairing earned a Pro-Am class victory in Race 1 on Saturday and backed it up with a second-place on Sunday.
If there was any doubt the Nolasport is the real deal, the New Orleans-based operation picked-up right where it left off at the end of the 2020 race season scoring two overall victories in the 60-minute, two driver GT4 America races. Matt Travis and Jason Hart combined for overall and Pro/Am class wins. In the Am class, Patrick Byrne and Russell Walker scored a class win, fifth-place overall.
Fred Poordad, Driver, #20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"Well that was a heck of a race one, and a great way to start the season at Sonoma Raceway. We struggled with car set up all weekend., but the team put it together for us and gave us a great car. Happy with the outcome of race one, finishing first in Pro/Am. We took our chances and opportunities when we could, and this is a good building block for the season. As for race two, I came out behind the 04 Mercedes, and didn't have the pace to keep up. That was really the difference. Overall, given how quickly this season came about and how little we tested, I'm happy with my results and the rest of the season. Wright gave us a great car today, and I know they will for the whole season, so it's up to the drivers."
Jan Heylen, Driver, No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"We're here to win the championship, so this is a good start to the season. We had enough pace to win in class in race one, and all that matters is we got the win and we got the points. It was not a perfect race for us but things came our way and it was sell deserved. We stayed out of trouble and gave Fred his first win of the season. Race two was a little more tough, but we did the best with what we had. We finished second and came away as the points leaders, that's what we're here for. Overall it was good. We had a good race weekend, especially when you consider we only had one test in the off season. I'm happy with the results and looking forward to Circuit of the Americas."
Charlie Luck, Driver, No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"Coming from a Cup series, I didn't know if I was going to be competitive here. The car is totally different than the Cup car. So a big thanks goes out to Bob Vigilone, John Wright, and Jan Heylen. Those guys have given me such a good set up and have done a great job coaching me, even on nutrition and exercise. The support from my wife, Lisa and our family is incredible. This weekend absolutely exceeded expectation. I didn't make any major mental mistakes, and in race two, I pushed even harder and was closer to Kurt's pace than before. I have so much more to learn, and so much more to grow. We're so fortunate and blessed to do this and get in the cars to compete like this. I think we have a phenomenal start."
Jason Hart, Driver, #47 Nolasport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"At this point in the weekend I am overwhelmed with thanks and appreciation for this entire program. For Matt's choice in me to the years of trust Nolasport has given me. Driving for a team like this is a dream to be a part of."
Matt Travis, Driver, #47 Nolasport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"Boom! That just happened! I can't believe it. I'm still in a state of shock. Super appreciative of the Nolasport crew, who gave us an amazing car all weekend."
SRO America travels to Austin, Texas next for Rounds 3 and 4 of each championship on April 30 – May 4.