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Mead Honored for as Top Rookie. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Names Kathryn Mead Rookie of the Year.

The 98th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, welcomed only one female competitor, Kathryn Mead, to the field in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama Division. Behind the wheel of a 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Mead finished in third-place in the division with a time of eleven-minutes, 36.345-seconds which was cause for celebration at the summit. Mead’s biggest goal was just to get to the top and have a clean run and did she ever. Laying down the quickest time of all rookies on the mountain Mead earned 2020 Rookie of the Year honors.

When asked about the best part of her experience on Pikes Peak this year Mead recalled, “If I had to choose one thing, it was race day and the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line. Without the hard work to get there, it would not have felt so rewarding.”

2020 - Pikes Peak - Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy Division Lineup - No. 50 Kathy Mead - No. 903 Charles Wirken - No. 22 Blake

Racing as a rookie in anything is tricky but being a rookie at the “Race to the Clouds” provides an added level of difficulty. Luckily for all the newbies to the mountain, the world of hill climbing is a welcoming community with many drivers willing to offer advice to first-time racers. 

"Every time I get behind the wheel, I know it makes me happy.”

Mead says the best advice she received was from Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame driver, Jeff Zwart, “He coached me in practice and told me to always leave time on the table in each practice run so I could learn and get faster each session. He also emphasized that you race the mountain, not the other competitors.”

Mead’s racing career began in 2016, however the first time she heard of the mountain itself when she was an active runner and heard about the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. When she began auto racing and learned about the opportunity to run the mountain on four tires instead of her own two feet, it seemed totally crazy and not something she would do. Yet, sometimes things just work out, and when the Porsche division was created and her car fit the profile, she knew she had to go for it. Her original plan to visit Pikes Peak in early April to check out the course and the mountain had to be scrapped due to the pandemic. She had practiced in a driving simulator and spent hours watching onboard videos in her hometown of Austin, Texas but it was not until early August that she actually experienced the race course in person.

Not only did she compete, but Mead designed the wrap for her race car. She stated, “With so many things outside my control, the one thing I could control was how this car looked. I think it looks happy. Every time I get behind the wheel, I know it makes me happy.” Mead was happy to finish, happy to capture third in her division and happy to be named Rookie of the Year on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. “My goal was to get to the summit on race day. Getting a trophy for fastest rookie was the cherry on top. Beyond that, it would take too long to explain. It was about more than just racing.”

Mead is already making plans to return for the 99th running on June 27, 2021.

No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R - Patrick Long (USA) and Ryan Hardwick (USA), Mid Ohio, 2020, PCNA

Porsche Podium. Wright Motorsports Earns Second-Straight IMSA Third-Place.

A trying week for Porsche Motorsport concluded on an upbeat with a podium finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Customer team Wright Motorsports earned a third-place finish in the highly competitive GTD class of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday, September 27 at the Lexington, Ohio-area track. Following the withdrawal of the Porsche GT Team on Tuesday, September 22, out of an abundance of caution as a result of Covid-19 tests among the team members that attended Le Mans, the No. 16 Wright Motorsports-entered Porsche 911 GT3 R shared by Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) was the sole Porsche entry in North America’s premier sports car series. A keen pit strategy coupled with a smart run by Hardwick to open the two-hour, 40-minute race followed by a dynamic drive by Long in the closing stages garnered the Batavia, Ohio-based race team a third-place finish in the Pro-Am style class. It was the second-consecutive podium result of the season for the John Wright-owned program and puts them in contention for the class points championship.

On the shoulders of the longtime privateer-focused commitment of Porsche, the entry of the No. 16 continued an unprecedented streak by the German sports car maker as the only manufacturer to enter every IMSA sports car race ever run.

Porsche 911 GT3 R at Mid-Ohio - No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R - Patrick Long (USA) and Ryan Hardwick (USA), 2020, PCNA

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will next compete with a GT-only race (GTLM and GTD class cars) at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval” on October 10. The factory Porsche GT Team is slated to return to competition with its full range of regular-season drivers in the No. 911 (Nick Tandy/Fred Makowiecki) and No. 912 (Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor) after COVID concerns kept the team from racing at Mid-Ohio. The Wright Motorsports entry will challenge for three-straight podiums and its first win of the season at Charlotte in the 100-minute race on the NASCAR Cup weekend.

Patrick Long, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It's fantastic to back up Road Atlanta with another podium position. I feel like we're just finding our stride as a group. Continuing to back-up these results will yield well for the remainder of the year. We had a little more adversity today than we may have wanted, but the yellows came our way we had the pace to fight at the end.”

Ryan Hardwick, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“One podium is great but two podiums in a row is even better! It felt really, really good to earn our second consecutive podium finish at the home track for Wright Motorsports. My teammate, Patrick Long, drove an amazing double stint to bring us home in third, and our pit crew was absolutely perfect all day. Our strategy was spot-on after getting dropped back a little at the start, and it’s just another example of how racing at this level is such a team sport.”

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA at Mid-Ohio - No. 16 Kelly-Moss Road & Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - Jeff Kingsley (CAN), 2020, PCNA

Sweeping Mid-Ohio. Kingsley Extends Points Lead in GT3 Cup Challenge USA After Three Wins.

By virtue of three victories in three races, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Jeff Kingsley (Canada) has extended his lead in the Porsche one-make series. Kingsley’s No. 16 Kelly-Moss Road & Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car bettered his nearest Platinum class rival Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) in all three of the 45-minute races held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Despite Dickinson placing the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche on the pole position for the three events – two held on Saturday September 26 and one the morning of Sunday, September 27 – the 2020 IMSA Hurley Haywood Scholarship winner was not able to fend-off the Canadian at the green flags. The two had a spirited competition each race out but the three-peat padded Kingsley’s championship points lead by 22 markers of Dickinson.

The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama returns to his traditional two-race per weekend format at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, October 15 – 16.

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