MÃ–NSHEIM, Germany - American Patrick Long's learning curve in the German Carrera Cup is officially over, as the 21-year-old UPS Porsche Junior Team driver scored a dominant, wire-to-wire win from pole position today at the Norisring street...
MÖNSHEIM, Germany - American Patrick Long's learning curve in the German Carrera Cup is officially over, as the 21-year-old UPS Porsche Junior Team driver scored a dominant, wire-to-wire win from pole position today at the Norisring street circuit in Nurnberg, German.
Long was on the pace from the first practice session on Friday, setting the fastest lap time. On Saturday, he took advantage of his Porsche's superb set-up and his growing confidence to blaze to his first Carrera Cup pole, 0.089 seconds faster than series points leader Frank Stippler.
"The car was quick off the transporter," Long explained. "The engineers changed the set-up from the previous race and it worked perfectly. I'd been working on my qualifying all year, and this time I got it right."
Long got the race right, too. After performing a letter-perfect start, he pushed the pace to open a gap; he finished lap two with a two-second lead over Stippler. From there, Long kept a fast and steady pace, while trying to conserve his tires and brakes - always a challenge on a street circuit. He led all 35 laps, leading Stippler across the line by 1.577 seconds.
"The race was pretty exciting," Long said. "After I opened the gap, I just tried to maintain my concentration. With all the barriers and bumps here you can't afford to make a mistake. The final laps were interesting, passing lapped traffic while keeping my brakes as fresh as possible. Still, my brakes were fried at the end.
"From now on I'm confident I can mix it up with the front runners every race. There was a lot to learn in the early races, but I still managed to score points. I'm looking forward to being on the podium in the weeks ahead, maybe even make a run at the championship."
Norisring marked Long's fifth consecutive Top Ten finish, a suprisingly strong result for a Carrera Cup rookie. The victory moved Long up to fifth in championship points.
The next German Carrera Cup will be held at the Nurburgring on August 16th. As a member of the UPS Porsche Junior team, Long is contesting the entire German Porsche Carrera Cup season and select Porsche Michelin Supercup events. He made his Supercup debut two weeks ago at Monaco, finishing on the podium in third position.
This is Long's sixth year of living and racing in Europe, where he has won international events in karting, Formula Ford and Formula Renault. For more information on Patrick Long visit his website at: www.patricklong.com. Information on the Porsche Carrera Cup can be found on the German language website: www.racecam.de.
<pre> Result: Round 5, German Carrera Cup, Norisring, Germany Distance: 80km, 35 laps Weather/Track: Sunny/dry
Pos/Driver Entrant 1. Patrick Long UPS Porsche Junior Team 2. Frank Stippler Team Farnbacher 3. Christian Menzel Tolimit Motorsport 4. Mike Rockenfeller UPS Porsche Junior Team 5. Roland Asch Land Motorsport
2003 German Carrera Cup Championship Frank Stippler 94 Mike Rockenfeller 66 Wolf Henzler 60 Romain Dumas 58 Patrick Long 54