P7 and P4 for Long at St. Pete PWC

March 14, 2016

The EFFORT Racing team put in an all-hands-on-deck effort to repair Patrick Long’s #31 Porsche 911 GT3 R in time to make the grid for rounds 3 and 4 of the Pirelli World Challenge series this weekend, after the car sustained heavy damage in the previous weekend’s round 2 at COTA. After a cross-country trek from Texas to Florida and with ample help from fellow competitors Alex Job Racing and Porsche itself, the EFFORT team were able to get Long’s car in racing shape in time for Saturday’s round 3, albeit with no time to practice or qualify for the races. As a result, Long was forced to start round 3 from the back of the field in P19. Putting on what was described repeatedly as a ‘passing clinic’, Long gained 12 positions in 50 minutes to finish P7 on the narrow confines of the St. Pete street course, earning the Hard Charger of the Race award. Patrick’s EFFORT teammate Michael Lewis swept the weekend, claiming pole position for both races and winning both races handily,

Sunday’s round 4 was fraught with yellow flags, and only featured 12 minutes out of 50 run under green flag conditions. After starting P7, Long was able to gain three laps on the opening lap alone, climbed as high as P3, and ultimately finished P4 to end a challenging weekend.

He said, “The goal was just to pull my weight for the long days that these guys put into rebuilding this car. I’m really proud of the whole group. Congratulations to Michael. It’s great to see him progress as a driver and a person. Race two was a tough race to not have many green flag laps. It really made it a race of restarts. I got some good timing on the initial restart and Johnny O’Connell ran me clean. I had good pace and was able to make up a few spots. I spent the rest of the race under yellow. On the second restart, I thought I had Alvaro cleared, and then I saw him sort of drift into me and that put me up over the curb. I feel bad that we had contact, but in this series, they ask for four wheel racing room. If that had been a wall, I would have been head on into it. I’m trying to race as clean as I can, but we have to co-exist out there. Past that, I went to the white flag and made a mistake into turn one and Michael Cooper got me. For as few laps as we completed, it was pretty adventurous. I’m glad to have recovered some points after what has been a forgettable and yet memorable week altogether.”

2016 - PWC - St Pete