Patrick Long and the Wright Motorsport crew claimed 2nd place Sunday on the streets of Long Beach in round 3 of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge, and retained his championship lead heading for the next doubleheader at Virginia International Raceway at the end of the month. After eventual winner Alvaro Parente rebuffed Patrick’s turn one overtaking move at the drop of the green flag, the duo ran nose-to-tail until an unusual stoppage was called on lap 10 of the race, due to water spilling across the track from an overflowing fire hydrant on an adjacent street. Long, winner of Round 2 at St. Petersburg and a Los Angeles native and local, drove his No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to within three-tenths of a second at the mid-point of the race and made a couple of inside maneuvers to take the lead but had to settle for second Sunday.
“It was probably twenty feet of running water and with slick tires at 140 m.p.h. that’s not what you want to see,” said Long. “It’s one of those situations where you sort of just stay calm, sort of relax, and let it end. I’m happy we didn’t have an incident and everyone responded really well, so hats off to the track and World Challenge series for their handling of an unnatural disaster. But, that’s Long Beach and that’s street racing. This series is about sprint racing and everybody’s racing hard. At the front, there’s a lot of respect; it’s hard racing but we can all grow together and keep a good show for the fans so I’m excited to represent Porsche in PWC in the GT3 R.”
The Pirelli World Challenge next visits VIR on April 28-30.