Aasco Motorsports-New Century Porsche Earns Sixth in Desert AVONDALE, Ariz., September 10, 2005 -- Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) got off to an impressive start fighting his way up into the top-three early in the going of Friday night's...
Aasco Motorsports-New Century Porsche Earns Sixth in Desert
AVONDALE, Ariz., September 10, 2005 -- Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) got off to an impressive start fighting his way up into the top-three early in the going of Friday night's Phoenix 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race. The 24 year-old knew for the No. 26 New Century Mortgage Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to contend for its first GT class victory of their abbreviated season, he would have to show early. However, in the end, Long and co-driver Pat Flanagan (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) would have to settle for a sixth-place finish here at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in Avondale, Ariz. The Aasco Motorsports-entered Porsche was the second highest finishing 911 GT3 Cup behind a contingent of Pontiacs and BMWs who used the massive torque of their V8s to their advantage on the tight, twisty course and long straight-aways.
The 250-mile race marked the first time in the history of the Rolex Series that Grand American officials separated the purpose-built Daytona Prototype (DP) racing machines from the production-based sports cars of the GT class. As such, the 16 car field had the 1.51-mile, 11-turn road course as their own playground without concern about the faster lapping DPs bringing their own battle into the intra-squad struggle for GT honors. The format looked well suited for Long and Flanagan who used on-track performance and the pit expertise of the Dennis Aase-led organization to stay in contact with the leaders. At approximately the half-way point, Long brought the New Century Porsche in for a driver change handing duties over to Flanagan who would fall to eighth with pit stops but fought for a top-six position throughout his stint. He would deliver the car back into the hands of Porsche factory driver Long in the race's closing stages. As the New Century Porsche closed on the checkered flag, Long was turning laps quicker than the leaders. He would regain two positions to move to sixth and would end the day with the team's third top-10 finish in the five races the New Century Porsche has run in 2005.
Patrick Long: "The race was, overall, pretty good. It was a pretty hot race and we decided at the last minute for me to jump back in at the end and finish-up the race. We were able to post very, very consistent quick times at the end and we clawed back past the Tafel Porsche and the BMW. The team did a great job with the setup. We were able to have a great pace. All is well that ends well. The car is in one piece and we look forward to moving on to Virginia."
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