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Late changes for Wright Motorsport following crash

A hard shunt for Ryan Hardwick in yesterday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge practice has forced Wright Motorsports to pull its entry from that race and hire Trent Hindman to sub for Hardwick in the Rolex 24 Hours.

#16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, GTD: Ryan Hardwick, Patrick Long, Klaus Bachler, Jan Heylen

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Hardwick suffered a big accident in the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R during night practice in the Roar Before the 24 last week, forcing the team to take over Black Swan Racing’s similar car which was available due to BSR pulling its own entry due to team owner Tim Pappas testing positive for Covid-19.

However, Hardwick suffered concussion in an accident in the team’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 yesterday afternoon, leading to an overnight stay in hospital, and will be unable to compete in the opening round of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

A team statement reads: “Hardwick’s condition is stable and the driver was kept overnight at a local hospital for observation, but due to a concussion he will not be able to drive the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R in Saturday’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“The 1st Phorm entry will still compete in the event, with Trent Hindman joining the existing Wright Motorsports roster of Patrick Long, Jan Heylen, and Klaus Bachler.”

Said Hardwick: “It’s unfortunate that I won’t be able to join the team for the big race. I wish I was driving with them, but sadly that won’t be possible.

“When I first learned I wouldn’t be able to drive, Trent was immediately one of the first drivers I thought of to step in. I want the team to continue and our 1st Phorm car to be on track to compete in this event. I’ve followed Trent’s career for the last few years, and I think he’ll be a good fit.

“Trent is joining a really great team, and I wish them the best of luck this weekend. He’s in the best hands.”

Hindman, who is a silver-rated driver, was the GTD-class champion in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship along with Mario Farnbacher, with whom he shared the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX. Last year, the 25-year-old from West Long Branch, NJ, won the GT World Challenge America title for Silver drivers.

“First and foremost, what’s most important is that Ryan is okay,” said Hindman. “Filling in for the Rolex 24 under these circumstances is never ideal, but I am grateful to John [Wright, team owner] Ryan, and the Wright Motorsports team for trusting me with this opportunity.

“The No. 16 Porsche looks to be a strong contender for victory come Sunday, and I certainly look forward to doing everything I can to make it happen.”

The combination of Long, Hardwick, Heylen and the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R won last November’s 12 Hours of Sebring.

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