American Patrick Long becomes first U.S. team member of UPS Porsche Junior Team; will contest Porsche Carrera Cup plus selected Supercup events. ATLANTA, GA - March 4 - Twenty-one year-old Patrick Long, from Oakpark, CA, has been named to the...
American Patrick Long becomes first U.S. team member of UPS Porsche Junior Team; will contest Porsche Carrera Cup plus selected Supercup events.
ATLANTA, GA - March 4 - Twenty-one year-old Patrick Long, from Oakpark, CA, has been named to the UPS Porsche Junior Team - the first American driver ever to earn a spot on this prestigious squad.
Long, who won the Barber Dodge Pro Series "Big Scholarship" in 2001 and competed in the British Formula Renault series this past year, was chosen by the Porsche factory test panel after two days of trials at Porsche's new test track in Leipzig, Germany, in November. Speed is important at these trials, but the Porsche jury - which included head of Porsche Motorsport Herbert Ampferer; Uwe Brettel, Head of Porsche One Make Cups; Helmut Greiner, Porsche Carrera Cup manager; and Porsche race engineers Owen Haye s and Roland Kussmaul along with UPS representatives - looks for a driver's attitude and mental approach as well.
"Patrick Long was very systematic and calm during the test drive sessions. He asked all the right questions to get the information he needed, didn't make even a small blunder in his Porsche 911 test vehicle, and was continuously faster as the test progres sed," said Kussmaul.
Long's precise statements, his passion for the sport, and his professionalism make him an ideal UPS Junior Team member, according to Hayes.
Since 1997, Porsche and its logistics partner UPS have been working together to find promising race drivers for the Porsche factory team. Graduates of the program include Lucas Luhr, current American Le Mans Series co-champion, and 2000 ALMS GT champion Dirk Mueller. The most recent Junior team members to race on the America scene are Germans Timo Bernhard - Le Mans GT and two-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner - and Marc Lieb, with Bernhard having a regular ride with Alex Job Rac ing in ALMS, and Lieb helping Alex Job as a third driver for Sebring and Petit Le Mans last year.
Long was selected for the Red Bull American Formula I Driver Search last November before coming the Leipzig to test for Porsche. Besides Formula Dodge and Formula Renault, Long was also the British Formula Ford Zetec series runner up champion, and finish ed third in the Elf La Filiere Campus Series in France (1999). Starting in karts at the age of six, Long has won several national karting titles in the U.S. as well as internationally.
As part of his first year as a UPS Porsche Junior Team members, Long will contest the entire German Porsche Carrera Cup championship (Luhr, Mueller, Bernhard and Lieb are all former champions) as well as selected Porsche Michelin Supercup events. Long will live in Germany during the race season.