Eight Days a Week: Patrick Long Completes a Rare Le Mans & Indy Double
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. In the span of eight days, American Patrick Long completed a rare racing double: He competed on the two most storied racing circuits in the world Le Mans and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with impressive results at both venues. Long scored a GT class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, followed by a podium finish in the Michelin Porsche Supercup race, part of the United States GP last weekend at Indy.
At Le Mans, Long teamed with fellow Porsche works drivers Sascha Maassen and Jorg Bergmeister in the Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 to win the Le Mans LM GT class victory. At Indy for the first time, Long participated as one of two "guest" drivers in the Michelin Porsche Supercup, finishing on the podium in second place on Saturday afternoon and in fourth place in Sunday morning's race.
"It was absolutely incredible to win at Le Mans," Long said, "All race fans know that Le Mans is the most prestigious and historic sports car race in the world. Le Mans is also special to me because I lived in Le Mans during my time in the Elf Campus formula car series in 1999, my first experience racing cars after karting."
Long adapted quickly to his first time on the Indianapolis GP road course. He qualified a strong second for the Saturday race and fourth for the Sunday Supercup, just four-tenths of a second off pole. "At an endurance race you settle into a rhythm and save the equipment to endure all 24 hours of the race," he explained. "At a Supercup event, you only have 70 kilometers to the checkered flag, so there is no room for error on your best lap qualifier. Starting up front is everything."
The first Supercup race was marked by three safety car periods, which cut the event short. Still, Long was glued to the race winner and championship points leader Wolf Henzler's bumper the entire race. In Sunday morning's race, Long held his fourth position throughout. Long admitted that the guest drivers are in a tough spot, wanting to race aggressively, yet not wanting to affect the race among the Supercup regulars, who are competing for a series championship.
Last year, Long was a member of the Porsche Junior team. Based in Germany, he competed in the Porsche German and British Carerra Cup, with wins at Norisring and Snetterton. In five Supercup races (run during F1 events), Long scored podium finishes at Monaco and the Nurburgring. Long's busy schedule continues with four races in the next five weeks in the American Le Mans Series, in which he drives for The Racers Group. This upcoming weekend he'll be at Mid-Ohio, followed by Lime Rock, July 2-5; Sonoma, July 16-18; and Portland, July 23-25.
The past six years Long has lived and raced in Europe, where he has won international events in karting, Formula Ford, Formula Renault, the German Porsche Carrera Cup and, with his Le Mans GT win, endurance sports cars. For more information on Patrick Long visit his website at: www.patricklong.com.