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A photo is also attached: Left to right: Andrew Longe, Elliott Skeer, Kasey Kuhlman. (IMSA GT3 Cup photo)

Wright Motorsports
Makes It Look Easy
In The Big Easy

AVONDALE, La., April 14 - New Orleans is known for partying, and Wright Motorsports had plenty to celebrate after Saturday's IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup race at NOLA Motorsports Park. The Batavia, Ohio-based team made it look easy at the 2.75-mile, 13-turn road course about 20 miles outside of "The Big Easy."

Two of the team's five drivers finished on the podium, as one won and another was third. Another Wright Motorsports driver was fourth overall and a fourth driver finished seventh in the top class. Two finished first and second in the Platinum class's Masters division, and one of them won the Yokohama Hard-Charger award too. A fifth one was involved in an incident during the race but qualified second and was very competitive.

The team's youngest driver won the race outright. He also set two new track records at the event and is now leading the driver point standings, while Wright Motorsports is leading the team point standings. 

If the team hosts a party then young Elliott Skeer will be at the head table, as the rookie from Carlsbad, Calif. led all 24 laps from the pole to beat Fall-Line Motorsports' Andrew Longe by 1.941 seconds at the checkered. Wright Motorsports' Kasey Kuhlman of Cincinnati finished third overall and first in the

Masters class with his Kuhlsport #15. Santiago Creel of Mexico City, Mexico took the checkered 1.225 seconds after Kuhlman did for a fourth-place finish with his UNIFIN EZCORP #60. John Goetz of Weston, Conn. finished ninth overall, seventh in class, and second to Kuhlman in the class's Masters division to boot. Michael Schein of New York City originally crossed the line in fifth, just 0.225 of a second behind Creel, but was penalized after the race and dropped back in the final rundown.

In addition to going home with the point lead, Skeer set a new track record of 1:53.184 in qualifying and another new track record for the fastest race lap with a 1:41.118.

Skeer stayed in front the whole way. Although Schein started right beside him after qualifying just 0.971 of a second off Skeer's new track record, he had contact with the driver who started fourth, Jesse Lazare, on the first lap. That knocked Schein back to seventh place. He battled back to fifth, but lost that later due a penalty for the incident.

Kuhlman was able to keep a clear head and all four wheels on the track in the melee, which advanced him from ninth to third overall. Kuhlman remained in third the rest of the way, and since he was the driver who gained the most spots during the race compared to his starting spot of ninth, he earned the Yokohama Hard-Charger Award.

Creel and Goetz gained one spot each at the start too. Creel rose from seventh to sixth and Goetz rose from tenth to ninth overall before the first full-course caution was displayed later on lap one for a car off course.

After the long yellow, Longe was right on Skeer's back bumper on the restart on lap six. Skeer was able to fight him off then and throughout the rest of the race, and Kuhlman chased them both the rest of the way.

Creel passed Schein on the restart for sixth place, and Creel got fifth on the next lap when both he and Jeff Mosing passed David Ducote. Schein had fallen back to seventh at that point, but he regained sixth on lap nine by passing Will Hardeman. Meanwhile, Goetz was firmly in tenth overall.

Creel passed Mosing for fourth working lap nine, and chased Kuhlman the rest of the way. Both Schein and Hardeman passed Mosing working lap 11. That put Schein in fifth.

After some hard-fought battles, Goetz finished seventh overall and second in the Masters division for Platinum drivers.

Skeer posted the fastest lap of the race on lap 18 with just 8 minutes remaining, and continued to have things his way at the head of the field until he took the checkered flag with 24 laps complete.

The second half of the doubleheader was rained out on Sunday morning. IMSA will contemplate making it up at another venue later or just shortening the season by one race.

Rounds 5 and 6 are scheduled for June 25-27 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. 

For more information on Wright Motorsports, see and follow it on Facebook and Twitter. Information on the series can be found on

Driver quotes follow:

Elliott Skeer: "It's unfortunate that the second race was cancelled, but this weekend was a good event for us. The whole team feels very happy with the progress made and I am super happy about being in the championship lead. I'm looking forward to the Glen!"

Kasey Kuhlman: "I was relatively quick in dry practice, but was too conservative qualifying in the wet and it hurt me with a P9 starting spot.

 "The race was dry so I was confident I could move up if all went well.  Others' misfortune in the opening lap handed me a couple spots and I wrestled for a few more.

 "After the restart it was just a matter of managing the gap behind, because the top two cars checked out. My teammates, Creel and Schein, ran me down with about eight laps to go. They drove great. I was fortunate to have just enough speed and focus to stay ahead until the end."

Santiago Creel: "Overall it was a great weekend for the team and me; P4 in the race! Looking forward to racing at the Glen!"

Michael Schein: "Not my best weekend. I was looking forward to the race, and had P2 for the start. Lazare and I had contact in the second corner on the first lap. It dropped me back a bunch and I ended up fifth after getting by some people. The officials thought the incident was my fault. I thought it was clearly just a racing incident. Oh well."

John Goetz: "It was a good learning weekend. We qualified on a wet track but it was a pretty clean run. I drove a consistent, conservative race and ended up seventh in class. I got my first podium in Masters, finishing second, but I was well behind Kasey, who once again did a great job.

 "The Wright team was fantastic in coaching and car support. I'm confident in progressing some more with their help.

 "Frankly, I'm happy we didn't do the second race in the downpour on Sunday. That was a good, safe decision by the IMSA leadership."

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 eight driver and seven team championships in World Challenge, IMSA (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Wright Motorsports won the team championship in Porsche GT3 Cup USA in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 it had four podium finishes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. For more information see and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.