BFREN: Patrick Long 'in his own words'

Hello Everyone, I hope your Holidays were great and Happy New Year to you! Well, I'm overdue to write and I finally have a complete day to myself to recap my last season. I'd have to say that 2001 was definitely the best season of my career...

Hello Everyone,

I hope your Holidays were great and Happy New Year to you!

Well, I'm overdue to write and I finally have a complete day to myself to recap my last season.

I'd have to say that 2001 was definitely the best season of my career -- full of action, accomplishment, and a bit of controversy, too. But most importantly, my performance made me a force to be reckoned with in the British Formula Ford Championship.

Many long-time motorsports observers have said that last year's British Formula Ford title fight was one of the most competitive they'd ever seen. There were three different Championship leaders and seven different race winners. At the end, it was a close -- sometimes too close! -- dogfight between Robert Dahlgren and myself. Although I ended up three points shy of the Championship, it was a great year.

Going in, I set a goal to win three races, but I remained optimistic after a bumpy start to the season. By eventually winning four races and two Festival heat races, I was more than surprised and just plain excited. The last month of this season had more than its share of political calls and slight downfalls, but by no means did I walk away from Formula Ford with a sour taste in my mouth. This season boosted my confidence and taught me so much. And I'm sure the lessons I learned in two seasons of Formula Ford will be with me for the rest of my racing career.

The year 2002 will be another step up the European racing ladder. While British Formula 3 was my goal for the last six months, insufficient sponsorship caused me to target other types of championships, including Toyota Atlantic and Formula Renault. And in a fantastic decision, Manor Motorsport was gracious enough to offer me a plum position on their British Formula Renault team for next season. Formula Renault is very comparable to Formula 3, but at a fraction of the cost. New McLaren F-1 phenom Kimi Raikkonen jumped from the British Formula Renault championship straight into F1. And what Formula Renault team did Kimi driver for? Manor Motorsports. That's why I'm excited to be involved with a team with such a winning reputation.

I tested a Manor Formula Renault car for the first time in Spain last month. Awesome! I got on with the team really well, and I went fast. My teammates will be McLaren-backed Lewis Hamilton, second-year Irish driver, Matt Griffin, and Venezuelan Ernesto Vito. The battle within team should be quite a show. I can't wait!

Thanks for all the support. I really appreciate the e-mails, guests, signings and phone calls. I really have a great bunch of fans who believe in me. It's great to hear from you all. I won't let you down!

Patrick Long

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Lewis Hamilton , Patrick Long , Robert Dahlgren , Matt Griffin
Tags FFZC