Monterey, California. The Monterey Sports Car Championship brings the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to California with four privateer entries looking to keep the German sports car manufacturer’s track success rolling into the famous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Porsche is defending GTLM race winners at the Monterey, California race track and the marque won the most recent WeatherTech race in both the GTLM and GTD classes. Three Porsche customer teams look to claim the honor of top GTD entry with the 911 GT3 R race car while a lone Porsche 911 RSR-19 competes in GTLM category. The two-hour, forty-minute race is scheduled for Sunday, September 12.
Two Porsche privateers come to the Monterey Peninsula having captured their respective classes at the most recent round of the championship; Road America. WeatherTech Racing, managed by Proton Competition, will seek its third GTLM class win of the year with Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell (Australia) and Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) at the wheel of the No. 79 Porsche 911 RSR-19. Pfaff Motorsports with drivers Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Zach Robichon (Canada) are also challenging for a third win of the season, this in the GTD class piloting the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car for Pfaff Porsche, a top Canadian Porsche road car dealer.
The No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, shared by works driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey) as well as the No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM machine of Rob Ferriol (Fayetteville, North Carolina) and Katherine Legge (United Kingdom) are entered in search of the brand’s 581 career IMSA victory.
Long is the winningest active driver at the facility made world famous by the multi-story drop corner known as the “Corkscrew” with five career victories (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011 in Porsche 911-based GT race cars and in 2007 with a Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype) in addition to the 2006 overall pole position in the Daytona Prototype. Legge is the 2018 GTD class pole position and race winner while Vanthoor raced to the GTLM class victory here in Monterey last year. Porsche is the all-time leader in manufacturer victories (19) at the 2.238, 11-turn California race track.
The Monterey Sports Car Championship two-hour, 40-minute event can be viewed live, Sunday, September 12 at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN. IMSA Radio will also have live coverage available on IMSA.tv and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.
““Really looking forward to the weekend. I have been there once before in the Intercontinental GT Challenge in 2019. I really enjoy the track. We are coming off having success at Road America and hopefully we can duplicate that effort this weekend.”
Cooper MacNeil, Driver, No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has been a good track for me over the years. I have several wins in Ferrari Challenge and was on the podium last year in GTD. The track is challenging and should be a real blast to drive in the WeatherTech Porsche RSR with its horsepower and handling. I know I will have a grin on my face when I take it through the Corkscrew for the first time at speed. We are coming off a win in the last race at Road America, so we hope to keep the car at the front this weekend in California.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Last time I went to Laguna we won; that is a good sign. It is a very special track with all the sand and a lot of degradation with the tires. It is one of my favorites of the year. We have four races left and we are still fully in the championship. We need to catch-up a little bit, but we are on a good wave. The goal is to win this championship. We need to minimize mistakes and maximize points and that is what we are going to do.”
Zach Robichon, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“As a team we have minimized our mistakes the last few weeks. We saw where we could improve and every single person on the team took a step up and that led to the results of the last couple of races. Now the confidence is there with the team. Personally, that year off was harder than I realized. Now we are back in the mindset we need to be. I am looking forward to the rest of the year. Laguna is one track that I have only been to once before. We had a decent race there last time. Everything is in place for us to keep moving forward.”
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It’s great to be back to the west coast. Minimal track time leading up to the event remains a theme in the series, so we will be looking to use our practice time wisely and start strong. The Corkscrew is one of those iconic corners in motorsport where you never perfect it, nor do you grow tired of it. It’s an awesome track all together! Let’s get this Wright Porsche 911 on the top of the box for 1st Phorm and all of our great partners.”
Trent Hindman, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“A good result at Road America finally provided some validation for our efforts over the last few rounds, though all focus turned towards Laguna Seca the second we crossed the line three weeks ago. A tight, technical racetrack with high tire degradation seems suitable for a Wright Motorsports-prepared 911 GT3 R. I’m looking forward to improving upon our last race result with Pat and the 1st Phorm team after a long break in the action.”
Katherine Legge, Driver, No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I love racing at Laguna. The Monterey Peninsula is a beautiful area, and the track is one of a kind, especially with its famed Corkscrew corner. The sand makes for a unique racing surface and the track itself is so fun to race at. I am a sucker for elevation changes and this track takes the biscuit in that regard. I have had much success here, including my first IMSA pole, and I always love a track where I have stood on the top step of the podium! As a team we are coming into this race with a great deal of positive momentum. Even though it’s been a challenging year, we are trending up and are all as enthusiastic as ever to stand on the podium before the season is out. Hopefully this is the first race we do that.”
* Image courtesy of Porsche Cars North America