Daytona 24 Hours Review: Wright Motorsports
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 25 - It was up against huge multi-car teams with much bigger budgets. It had a brand-new car, but brand-new race cars usually

need to run a few races before all the kinks are out. It was competing in the longest race in professional endurance sports car racing in North America.
It
was running on a high-horsepower course that favors other marques over the car it brought. And one of its four drivers was making his first Rolex Series start, and even his first start in a 24-hour race.

Despite all that, Wright Motorsports of Batavia, Ohio thought it could finish this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, and perhaps even get on the podium in the tough, 30-car GT class that was part of the 49-car field. And on Sunday afternoon, that's just what the little team that thought it could did.

Drivers Phillip Martien of Finksburg, Md. and B.J. Zacharias of Cincinnati, along with Porsche factory drivers Sascha Maassen (a native of Aachen, Germany now living in Lontzen, Belgium) and Patrick Pilet (Le Chesnay, France), withstood a throttle that didn't work quite right in their Phillips Way Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, No. 33, throughout the 24-hour enduro.
Pilet had the scare of a potential flat tire in the last hour of the race, which caused him to pit and have the crew tear off the car's rear bumper and some bodywork in case anything was rubbing. They had a couple drive-through penalties too. Despite

all that, and a few other less dramatic problems, the team finished third in GT and 11th overall.

Martien, who helped team owner John Wright organize the team's participation

in this race and was the driver making his first start here, said it was the

best day of his life. It was also a wonderful present for his 50th birthday, which he celebrated earlier in the week.

After qualifying 11th in class, the team dropped to 17th in class in the first hour due to the problem with the throttle, which was sticking periodically.
After some WD-40 was applied that problem disappeared, but the drivers said they only had between 90 and 97 percent throttle throughout the race.

By hour two the team was up to fifth in class, and by hour four it was second. It was primarily in fifth or sixth place until it moved into fourth place on Sunday with four hours to go, thanks to great driving, great pit stops and great race strategy by Wright. The team was in third place by Hour 21, and ever relinquished that spot the rest of the way even though fourth place was just
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