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Wright Motorsports' Kuhlman Clinches
Platinum Masters Championship in First Race; 
All Three Wright Drivers in Top 10 in COTA Nightcap

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 22 - Wright Motorsports' Kasey Kuhlman of Cincinnati achieved his goal and clinched the 2014 Masters championship in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Yokohama's Platinum class Friday morning at the Circuit of the Americas. 

The Masters class consists of drivers over the age of 45, and it is hotly contested. Kuhlman finished second in the standings last year by just two points, but this time he sewed up the title in the first half of the doubleheader at the next-to-last event in the 16-race, international series contested on eight different road courses. 

After winning the Masters class Friday morning, Kuhlman did it again in the second 45-minute race later that night at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course near Austin, Texas which hosts the United States Grand Prix. His twin victories at COTA were his 11th and 12th Masters class victories of the year. 

Kuhlman finished seventh overall in the Platinum class in the first race and fifth overall in the second race at COTA with his Kuhlsport #15. 

Another Wright Motorsports driver, Michael Schein of New York City, finished in the top five in the first race, and all three Wright Motorsports drivers were in the top 10 in the second half of the doubleheader. 

Schein was fifth in the first race and ninth in the second one. The third driver under the Batavia, Ohio-based team's tent at COTA was Santiago Creel of Mexico City, Mexico, who finished 12th in the first race and tenth in the nightcap with his Porsche, which is sponsored by Hotbook and Under Armour. 

The Austin area experienced flash flooding all week, and the drivers faced a wet race on Friday morning. Schein started sixth but he passed Christina Nielsen almost immediately and stayed in fifth for all 19 laps. 

Kuhlman started tenth but he passed David Calvert-Jones at the start for ninth. He passed Mark McKenzie and Jesse Lazare working the third lap.  For most of the race there were four other Masters class drivers right behind him, just waiting for him to make a mistake, but he didn't make one and snared the Masters class victory and seventh overall.

Creel started 11th but he had a problem at the start and dropped back to 17th in the Platinum class and 22nd overall. He worked hard to regain the positions and worked his way back up to 12th in class and overall at the checkered.

The second 45-minute race started at 7:25 p.m., and the darkness added extra drama to the contest. It was the first night race ever for the series, and also the first night race at this particular track.

Schein started sixth. A full-course caution waved on lap one, and in the melee he got shuffled back to ninth, which is where he finished. 

Kuhlman started seventh. He gained one spot at the start and got fifth when Angel Andres Benitez Jr. dropped from third to ninth on lap five. Kuhlman remained in fifth the rest of the way, taking his second Masters class victory of the day with 2.2-second intervals between the driver in front of him and the driver behind him. He was some 9.7 seconds ahead of the next-closest Masters class driver at the end.

Creel started 11th but he got tenth on the first lap and remained there for all 19 laps. 

The series' next event is the season finale Oct. 2-3 at Road Atlanta.

A one-hour show featuring coverage from both COTA races will be televised Saturday, Oct. 18 in various American markets as part of a new syndicated network television package partnership between IMSA and Sinclair Broadcast Group. That broadcast and coverage of similar races will be available on at the IMSAvids channel on YouTube and on imsa.com after they air on television.

More information is available on imsa.com and GT3CupChallengeUSA.com.

The team's Web site is at WrightMotorsports.com. It also posts updates on its Facebook page. 

Other social media links of interest include:

Wright Motorsports: Facebook: Wright Motorsports; Twitter: @WrightRac1ng

Kasey Kuhlman: Facebook: Kuhlsport

Michael Schein: Instagram: @Mike_Schein

Santiago Creel: Instagram: @Santiagocreel; Twitter: @screelg

Post-race quotes follow:

Kasey Kuhlman: "I struggled here at COTA last year in both the dry and the wet.  Most of the front-runners tested here recently so I was behind the curve when I arrived.  The mixed weather conditions and only two short practice sessions made it a struggle for me to get up to speed, and it showed in a poor P10 qualifying position.

"Race 1 in the wet was just an exercise of smooth hands and throttle, searching for grip and maintaining focus.  I was fortunate to pick up a few spots and finish as the Masters winner, but I was outside of the overall top five, which is always my goal.   

"Race 2 in the dark was a lot of fun.  The start was a little crazy and I lost a couple spots.  Once things settled down and we got the long green run I was able to find a good pace.  I had some great battles throughout the whole race and was fortunate to make it into P5 by the finish.  Clinching the Platinum Masters championship was a highlight of the weekend."

Michael Schein: "I had a solid first race in the rain; I started sixth and finished fifth. The second race was tough. The start was pretty hectic and I got shuffled back a few spots and wasn't able to get back up front."

About Wright Motorsports: 

Wright Motorsports is the premier Porsche tuning facility in Ohio and a multi-series, international racing team known for superb car preparation, expert race strategy and driver development. Located in Batavia, near Cincinnati, it is owned and directed by John Wright, a certified Porsche factory-trained technician. As a crew chief Wright has played a key role in winning eight driver and seven team championships in World Challenge, IMSA (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. In 2012-2013 Wright Motorsports won back-to-back driver and team championships while fielding multiple entries in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge; serviced its customers who compete in other series and club-racing events, and provided race car-quality preparation for its customers’ high-performance street cars. For more information see WrightMotorsports.com on the Internet and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.