2008 Season Wrap Up

November 12, 2008
Patrick in the #6 Porsche RS Spyder

Patrick Long put the wraps on a successful season a few weeks ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a season in which he and teammate Sascha Maassen claimed four podium finishes and helped Porsche claim another manufacturer’s championship in the American Le Mans Series, driving the #6 Porsche RS Spyder for Penske Racing. Penske Racing and Porsche swept the LMP2 class honors in 2008, capturing the Team, Driver’s and Manufacturer’s laurels.

On the track, highlights of Patrick’s 2008 season were many, including setting the GT2 class pole and lap record at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the time of the feat, he said, “Wednesday, in the first qualifying sessions, we ended up just behind the Flying Lizard Porsche of my friend Jörg Bergmeister in 2nd place on the timesheets. Today our main objective was to see what the weather did — we needed to use all the time today before dinner to continue to develop our race setup, and the weather cooperated. At dinner we made a collective decision to put on a new set of tires and try for a quick lap time. We were on-schedule with the racecar setup, and all three of us drivers were happy with where we were at. I was expecting my lap to end up a 3:59, so I was surprised to see a 3:58.152 when I got into the pits. It’s definitely pretty sweet to set pole here, in this atmosphere. To set a track record is icing on the cake.”

Of Patrick’s four podium finishes in ALMS competition this year, perhaps the most stunning moment was the first lap of the Long Beach Grand Prix. In front of dozens of friends and family, as well as a packed circuit, Patrick swept past the three fastest qualifiers at the drop the green flag to take the lead in the first corner. Long led overall his entire stint, pitting under green from the lead after 55 minutes of racing. He and Maassen followed up their 3rd-place finish at Long Beach with podium finishes at St. Petersburg, Lime Rock and Mosport, allowing Patrick to finish 3rd in the hyper-competitive ALMS LMP2 Driver’s Championship.