2nd at Road America, Patrick Long Extends Championship Lead Long and Bergmeister Extend ALMS GT Championship Lead to 18 Points Patrick Long, defending ALMS GT Driver's Champion, finished second in the GT class at the American Le Mans Series...
2nd at Road America, Patrick Long Extends Championship Lead
Long and Bergmeister Extend ALMS GT Championship Lead to 18 Points
Patrick Long, defending ALMS GT Driver's Champion, finished second in the GT class at the American Le Mans Series round at Road America Sunday, extending his championship lead at a circuit that didn't look likely to favor the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Long and teammate Jörg Bergmeister, winners of three ALMS races to date in 2010, padded their championship lead by an extra 10 points over the #90 BMW and #62 Ferrari, who are now tied for second place in the championship with two races left to run.
Long's teammate qualified the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche in 5th position and was able to climb to 2nd in GT by the end of his stint, handing the car over to Patrick in p3 after a caution period. Long climbed aboard with just under 90 minutes remaining and battled with the #90 BMW and #62 Ferrari over the next laps as a caution period and pit stops for the entire lead pack played out. On the final restart, the #90 BMW motored past Long on the lengthy uphill front straight, and Patrick looked set to come under fire from the rest of the approaching GT pack. Nine GT cars engaged in an all-out sprint for the duration of the race, and Patrick was able to hold off the #61 Ferrari and both Corvettes to finish a strong second in class. Demonstrating the incredible depth of competition in the 2010 ALMS GT class, the top 9 GT cars finished on the lead lap of the race.
Patrick said, "It was a hard-fought day today for us between the #90 BMW, the two Corvettes and the Ferraris. We all had a pretty incredible battle, with four GT manufacturers all duking it out for the entire duration of the race. To stay ahead of the #3 and #4 Corvettes and put a points gap on the #62 Ferrari is just what we needed. We're always aiming for wins, but today was a satisfying result. Credit where credit's due though - every time we came in the pits, we annihilated the competition - which is testament to the work our crew puts in. And as always, Thomas Blam's strategy calls were impeccable. I think we were as low as 7th place at times, but Jörg rallied back to 2nd place as the pit stops cycled and others faded. We have two rounds to go, and we have to absolutely push to the limit on every lap, in every session. Mosport is going to be tough for us - like Road America, it's very high speed and might suit some of our competition better, but we defied the odds today, so why not try to do the same this coming weekend?"
Patrick and his team are back in action this weekend, Sunday, August 29, at the Grand Prix of Mosport, outside Toronto, Ontario.