Q&A with Driver Kasey Kuhlman
Wright Motorsports is currently occupying three of the top five spots in the GT3 Cup point standings. What has enabled the team to excel this season?
John Wright, the owner of Wright Motorsports, is the best in the business when it comes to car set-up and preparation. There is no substitute for having the best cars on the grid. Our drivers are also very talented. Fernando Pena finished P2 in the 2011 Platinum Cup championship. Madison Snow was the Gold Cup champion in 2011. We expected these guys to run up front from the beginning. Sean Johnston's performance with two wins and many strong runs has been a fun surprise since we did not have a relationship with him before this season and his prior racing experience was limited.
Your team has an interesting mix of young guns and gentleman drivers. What is that dynamic like in the garage? How do you all work together to learn from each other?
We have a lot of fun at the track, and I don’t really acknowledge the age differences. We're all competitive and trying to win. We respect one another as drivers. The only difference is that Madison isn't old enough to drink the champagne when he wins!
Why is your team owner John Wright a good guy to race for?
Racing is a special endeavor. John does a good job of reminding us all how fortunate we are to be participating and helps us keep a positive outlook. There are so many people who would love to do this but just can't put it together for one reason or another. We are all making large sacrifices to commit to a full season of racing at this level. We work hard to assure that everyone has the best weekend possible and remember to have a good time.
Everyone wants to win of course, but John Wright has done a great job of reinforcing a team identity. We all share our driver notes and data with the goal of getting each driver to the highest level of performance possible. Everything is open book. I genuinely enjoy sharing in the celebration when my team mates meet their goals for the weekend whether that be a podium or some version of their personal best. This is my first opportunity to run as part of multi-car team. It is an even better experience than I had hoped for when we put it together.
You've created a successful partnership with the Snow family. How did that partnership come about and why does it work so well?
John (Wright) and Martin Snow have raced together for a long time so their relationship goes way back. They have a high degree of respect for each other's commitment to the sport. There are advantages to running as part of a multi-car team with an open book policy. I think it made sense for Snow Racing to leverage their relationship with John Wright to share in those benefits. Melanie and Madison are great competitors and good friends. They are a core part of our team. We have a lot of laughs in the trailer!
Why did you decide to become involved in the GT3 US series? What about the cars and competition drew you in?
I learned to race with Skip Barber. John (Wright) and I were friends outside of racing so when I decided to make the move into sports cars, I didn't need to shop around for a team or manufacturer. He has been a great mentor to me in helping guide my progress and giving advice on where to race. After a couple years in PCA, he suggested I give the IMSA Challenge a try because of the high level of competition and professional atmosphere. After a successful outing at Mid Ohio in 2010, I decided to run the full season in 2011. I learned a ton last year, made the podium at Road America and genuinely had a great time. I carried the momentum into this year and am running faster laps with better finishes. IMSA Challenge is a great place to develop your driving skills while at the same time enjoying very intense racing. This is the real deal. You are on the best tracks in front of real fans with great competitors. I love driving the Porsche GT3 Cup and Porsche's affiliation with IMSA and their sponsorship of this series is much appreciated. I am fortunate to be able to do this with my weekends!