Patrick Long put the wraps on a successful season a few weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a season in which he and teammate Sascha Maassen claimed four podium finishes and helped Porsche claim another manufacturer's championship in the ...
Patrick Long put the wraps on a successful season a few weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a season in which he and teammate Sascha Maassen claimed four podium finishes and helped Porsche claim another manufacturer's championship in the American Le Mans Series, driving the #6 Porsche RS Spyder for Penske Racing. Penske Racing and Porsche swept the LMP2 class honors in 2008, capturing the Team, Driver's and Manufacturer's laurels.
On the track, highlights of Patrick's 2008 season were many, including setting the GT2 class pole and lap record at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the time of the feat, he said, "Wednesday, in the first qualifying sessions, we ended up just behind the Flying Lizard Porsche of my friend Jorg Bergmeister in 2nd place on the timesheets. Today our main objective was to see what the weather did - we needed to use all the time today before dinner to continue to develop our race setup, and the weather cooperated. At dinner we made a collective decision to put on a new set of tires and try for a quick lap time. We were on-schedule with the racecar setup, and all three of us drivers were happy with where we were at. I was expecting my lap to end up a 3:59, so I was surprised to see a 3:58.152 when I got into the pits. It's definitely pretty sweet to set pole here, in this atmosphere. To set a track record is icing on the cake."
Patrick's four podium finishes in ALMS competition this year, perhaps the most stunning moment was the first lap of the Long Beach Grand Prix. In front of dozens of friends and family, as well as a packed circuit, Patrick swept past the three fastest qualifiers at the drop the green flag to take the lead in the first corner. Long led overall his entire stint, pitting under green from the lead after 55 minutes of racing. He and Maassen followed up their 3rd-place finish at Long Beach with podium finishes at St. Petersburg, Lime Rock and Mosport, allowing Patrick to finish 3rd in the hyper-competitive ALMS LMP2 Driver's Championship.
One of the most exciting projects of 2008 is actually just launching, late in the year. Over the course of the 2008 season, 29HD Networks sent film crews to Le Mans, Canada and the United States to film Patrick as he went about his business as a racer. The result is 24HR Racer, a broadband series of short films featuring Patrick. and soon, via a native iPhone application.
Film crews tracked Patrick's progress at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, for practice, qualifying, and at the driver's parade, catching a true behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's most esteemed races. Additionally, the series features extensive interviews with Patrick's father Jon. After Le Mans, 29HD Network traveled to Mosport to catch Patrick's race there in the Porsche RS Spyder.
In mid-December, Patrick will participate in one of the most unique events that Porsche has offered its customers. The Porsche Sport Driving School-one of the nation's most prestigious driving schools - is offering its first fantasy camp for a handful of qualified participants who will spend a day on the track with some of the finest race-car drivers ever to don Porsche driving suits. The program, called the Porsche Legends Course, runs December 16 and 17 at the renowned Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
This exclusive opportunity for just 10 people is the first of its kind and is limited to recent graduates of the school's Masters Course, who will be personally coached by many of the greats in Porsche racing lore. The Porsche driving legends include Derek Bell, Vic Elford, Hurley Haywood, Patrick Long and Brian Redman. In addition to perfecting his or her skills during a full day of track sessions with these world class racers as personal coaches, each guest will have the opportunity to socialize with the drivers for a closer one-on-one relationship. As part of the first class VIP treatment, guests will be among the first to drive the new 2009 Porsche 911 Turbo. The challenging and scenic 2.38-mile track presents 16 turns, allowing guests to gain valuable driving experience alongside the elite Porsche drivers. The price for the Legends Course-which includes two nights at the Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa and dinner with the drivers on both nights, an entire day at the track and all ground transportation as well as custom mementos including a Porsche race helmet-is $9995.00. Those interested in learning more about this event can call 888--204--7474, or by visiting www.porschedriving.com/
Sponsors and Partners
2008 was a breakthrough year for Patrick with his sponsors and partners. Special thanks go to Wheel Enhancement, Oakley, Troy Lee Designs, Shock Doctor, Leeper's Stair Products and Porsche for their continued support. Also, special thanks go to Rick Dole and Andrew MacPherson for photography services.