BATAVIA, Ohio – Wright Motorsports has announced that Jan Heylen will join the team this weekend for the GT World Challenge America event at Circuit of the Americas.
One of the team’s regular drivers, Max Root, is missing the event in Austin, Texas, because he is competing in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result, the team needed a substitute and Heylen fit the bill. He’ll join Fred Poordad in the team’s No. 20 Porsche 911 GT3 R this weekend.
“We’re all very excited to see Max race in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said team owner John Wright. “It’s been great to see him grow over the last couple of years, and to run such a prestigious event is an honor for every sports car racing driver. We’re excited to have Jan back, fresh off the podium with our IMSA WeatherTech team effort. He’s a great addition to our team, and he and Fred will do well.”
Heylen has recently spent ample time in the Porsche 911 GT3 R, completing a six hour endurance racing event with the IMSA side of the team two weeks ago at Road Atlanta followed by a one day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Poordad.
“Fred has become a good friend over the year, and I couldn’t be happier to be sharing the car with him,” said Heylen, who coached Poordad in the team’s Cup racing efforts years ago. “It’s a home track for Fred, and we should do well here. I love the city of Austin, and the Porsche races well at this track. I’m also excited for Max and wish him the best for Le Mans.”
The season debuted at Circuit of the Americas in March, where Root and Poordad swept the Am category, taking both class wins in the season opener. The pair have gone on to have a successful season to date, most recently landing on the overall podium in the previous event at Road America.
“We are excited to be running at COTA,” said Poordad. “This race was a question mark for us up until a few days ago for a variety of reasons. Although Max Root cannot be there, Jan Heylen will be subbing in for him. Jan is a tremendous talent and will being a different perspective to the team. We are looking forward to the challenge of the race track and the competition this weekend!”