Long Brushes Off Qualifying Woes, Streaks to Fifth at Rockingham ROCKINGHAM, U.K. - Despite a disappointing qualifying result -- thanks to drizzly conditions, poor setup,and lack of slow-turn grip -- Californian Patrick Long drove an ...
Long Brushes Off Qualifying Woes, Streaks to Fifth at Rockingham
ROCKINGHAM, U.K. - Despite a disappointing qualifying result -- thanks to drizzly conditions, poor setup,and lack of slow-turn grip -- Californian Patrick Long drove an aggressive,faultless race at last weekend's Rockingham round of the Slick 50 British Formula Ford Championship, hustling his works Van Diemen from 11th on the grid to a strong fifth-place finish.
"Qualifying was really disappointing after being so quick at the previous two races (Oulton Park and Croft)," Long said. "But we were chasing the set up in testing and qualifying. Starting from 11th was a real challenge, but I kept it clean, passed my teammate and series leader Richard Goransson on the first lap, and kept moving up. The only problem I had was a slightly bent wishbone, which slowed me just a bit. Without that, I think I could have made the podium. But I earned valuable points and I'm still looking to win the championship."
Rockingham was a new experience for the Formula Ford series, as the track combined high-speed oval sections (CART will race on the oval later this summer) and slower road-course sections. This caused set-up problem for many teams, including Van Diemen; all three works drivers struggled. Long's fifth place finish was the team's best result in the race.
After five rounds of the Slick 50 British Formula Ford Championship, Long is fourth in the title chase, with a race win at Oulton Park. With more than half the season still to be contested, Long is a still a threat to win the championship. Patrick Long's championship quest continues June 23-24 at Castle Combe.
For more information on Patrick Long, visit his website at:www.patricklong.com. And to follow the Slick 50 Formula Ford Championship, log on to www.powertour.co.uk.