Long impresses at Porsche Carrera Cup opener at Hockenheim. MÃ–NSHEIM, Germany - American Patrick Long made an impressive debut with the UPS Porsche Junior team last weekend, when he finished a strong eighthin the German Carrera Cup season...
Long impresses at Porsche Carrera Cup opener at Hockenheim.
MÖNSHEIM, Germany - American Patrick Long made an impressive debut with the UPS Porsche Junior team last weekend, when he finished a strong eighthin the German Carrera Cup season opener at the famed Hockeheim Grand Prix circuit in Germany.
Despite limited testing, racing a car with fenders for the first time, and learning a new circuit, the 21-year-old Californian was on pace from the first practice session, when he was fourth quickest. Two flat tires in the second practice session, however, slowed his progress. In qualifying, Long admitted to "overdriving" the car a bit, which left him 11th on the grid. Still, Long's best lap sector times together would have placed him in the top four.
"Qualifying these cars is a challenge," Long explained from his new home in Mönsheim, just a few miles from Porsche's motorsports facility in Weissach. "The Michelin tires are excellent, but timing your best lap to the tires' maximum grip takes practice."
In the 18-lap, 80-kilometer race Long drove aggressively throughout and moved up three positions, despite battling fender-to-fender with several steely-eyed veterans. The race was punctuated by rain in the middle laps, forcing Long to do something he'd never done in a single-seater - flip on the windshield wipers! Long secured eighth place on the final lap.
"I'm really pleased to have finished and moved through the field," Long said. "It's completely different from Formula Renault, and tons of fun. The more experience I get the better my results will be. Passing is more difficult because drivers don't concede the corner once you move along side - they run side-by-side all the way through the corner, rubbing fenders."
Long is the first non-German driver to win a spot on the UPS Porsche Junior team. He will contest the entire German Porsche Carrera Cup season and select Porsche Michelin Supercup events, that run as support races to the Formula One series.
Last season, Long placed eighth overall in the British Formula Renault series, finishing with five Top Five placings, including one pole position and one flag-to-flag victory (Snetterton). He also scored two sixth place results. The year previous, Long finished second overall in British Formula Ford championship - highest placing ever for an American.