Patrick Long 3rd in LMP2 at ALMS Long Beach

April 20, 2008
Patrick leads the pack in the #6 Penske Porsche RS Spyder

LONG BEACH, CA — Patrick Long had a sensational race at the Patron Tequila ALMS at Long Beach this past weekend, sweeping 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. Long’s teammate Sascha Maassen drove a strong second stint, but ultimately, the Penske Porsche RS Spyder proved no match for the torque and grunt of the winning Audi R10 on the tight, traffic-filled circuit. Long and Maassen claimed their second consecutive podium finish of the season, as the Acura ARX-01b won its first race of the year, breaking Penske Porsche’s 8-race winning streak.

Patrick said, “It was a super tight grid — the qualifying differential was only three tenths among the first seven cars, including the Audis. I was kind of bummed out not to put together a quick lap in qualifying. I was on a light fuel load and was a bit overexuberant, but ending up fourth my first time qualifying the RS Spyder was satisfying, especially given I was only two tenths off of pole. We knew the Audis would be fast on the start, and coming out of the last turn, onto the front straight is really tight. I was able to get a good jump and was able to slide around the outside of both Acuras and Timo in our sister RS Spyder, then comfortably lead for the first 20 laps. After that, we started to pick up lapped traffic, so it got to be a bit more touch-and-go.

“To put up the fastest lap of the race by three-tenths was great. The Audis climbed through traffic with all their torque and for a while there, I was really hustling with Lucas Luhr. He got alongside of me but wasn’t ever able to get past. I drove in with a puncture in our fuel window, and Timo pitted on the same lap. We ended up taking four tires to their two, so they leapfrogged us in the pits. Sascha got held up behind a GT2 car on the straight when it suddenly lost power, which caused him to lose a spot. To end up on the podium for the second race in a row is a good result there, and got us some much needed points after we got zero at Sebring.

“It was great to get some ‘firsts’ out of the way — first time I’d led an ALMS race overall, first time qualifying the RS Spyder, first time starting, so I’m feeling pretty settled in with Penske now that I’ve sort of checked off all the ‘unknowns.’ I’m looking forward to racing this coming weekend with David Murray in a Synergy Porsche in Grand-Am at VIR, and after that, it’s quickly off to Salt Lake City for the Miller Motorsports Round of the ALMS.”

The American Le Mans Series next visits Miller Motorsports Park on May 16–18, 2008 for round four of the season. Television coverage will be live on Speed Channel from 1pm MDT.