Long Victorious in Return to Pirelli World Challenge

April 28, 2012

In his return to the Pirelli World Challenge Series after having won the driver’s championship last year, Patrick Long clinched victory Saturday at at Miller Motorsports Park. Having won pole position, Long fell to second at the start, to the charging Cadillac of Johnny O’Connell. Long and O’Connell gapped the rest of the field for the first six laps before Long was able to pass the Cadillac into turn one, and once at the front of the race, checked out to win by 3.032 seconds over championship leader O’Connell.

Driving the #1 PrivacyStar / Entrust Porsche GT3, Long was happy with his race. “I dropped the clutch at the start and the thing hooked up so well I had to dip the clutch again and that gave everybody a jump,” Long said. “But I learned from last year that you can’t give up on the starts even if you get beat off the line so I went hucking down into one and laid it on the ABS and got a couple of those spots back.”

“After that, Johnny was really quick the first couple of laps and I just tried to keep him honest, find out where his strengths and weaknesses were, and really just use him up. Today, we were just so evenly matched on speed but it came down to consistency and with TruSpeed and [Long’s engineer] Steve Trindade, that thing was so hooked up. You can’t sit there and count your chickens because the Pratt and Miller guys are going to be there every single weekend. For a small team out of Southern California, it’s pretty awesome to beat the Detroit iron.”

The race at Miller Motorsport Park will be Patrick’s only appearance in the Pirelli World Challenge Series this season. Next up is the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca, May 10-12.