Fantastic 2nd Place at Petit Le Mans for Long

October 03, 2011

Patrick Long followed up his first win of the 2011 American Le Mans Series two weeks ago in Laguna Seca with a resplendent 2nd place finish at the season finale Petit Le Mans outside Atlanta, GA on Oct. 1. Due to some last-lap heroics from Long’s teammate Jörg Bergmeister, the #045 Flying Lizard team claimed 2nd place, capturing the tire manufacturer’s championship for Porsche’s partner, Michelin. Though the AF Corse Ferrari won the GT race, the team wasn’t entered for the full ALMS season and was thus ineligible for ALMS points, thus the Lizards were technically awarded 1st place points in the championship.
Having qualified in 5th place, Long and his teammates carefully worked through traffic on a jam-packed Road Atlanta track. With a record entry, free air was at a premium around the circuit, and the Lizards deftly avoided the many accidents which caused frequent caution periods. With what has become the Lizards’ hallmark pitstop consistency and perfect strategy calling, the trio were able to climb from 5th to 3rd with just two laps remaining. On the final restart of the race, Bergmeister clung to the bumper of the then-2nd placed BMW, and passed him in traffic on the last lap. After nine-and-a-half hours of racing, the margin of victory for the AF Corse Ferrari over Long’s Porsche was a scant 6 seconds.

Despite clinching the Pirelli World Challenge Championship in the #45 PrivacyStar / TruSpeed Porsche and concluding an unlucky ALMS season with back-to-back wins, Patrick’s season isn’t over yet. He races next in the Australian V8 Supercars Armor All Gold Coast 600 on Oct. 21-23. Television coverage of the epic event will be broadcast live on SPEED in the United States at 11:30pm ET on Saturday, October 22.