Patrick Long — 4th at Mid-Ohio

July 19, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Patrick Long and Sascha Maassen finished 4th in the Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, after qualifying a somewhat disappointing 6th place in LMP2. The #6 Penske Porsche was running as high as 2nd in class late in the race, but minor suspension damage and traffic allowed two Acuras to get by and the #6 had to settle for 4th place in LMP2 and 6th place overall.

Starting the race outside the top five, the race strategy for the first part of the race was focused on getting the #6 Penske Porsche to the front of the pack while protecting the car and saving fuel. Sasscha Massen was elected to start the race after qualifying the car and he made a solid start in wild conditions Saturday. Just past the 45 minute mark, while under the race’s 1st of 3 full-course caution periods, Long took over the wheel of the DHL Spyder. From that point forward the race produced its high and low points, both coming almost simultaneously. While battling his way to second place in class, Patrick got caught between two of the Acuras making slight contact with the #15 Fernandez vehicle which knocked the RS Spyder’s front end out of alignment. The resulting damage negatively affected the handling and increased the tire wear of the #6 for the remainder of the race. Patrick vigorously defended the second place position for several laps from eventual second place finisher David Brabham, and that defense allowed the #7 RS Spyder to increase its lead by several seconds which proved vital in the closing stages of the race as Brabham ran out of time in trying to catch the #7 Penske Porsche.

Long described the weekend’s result as “bittersweet… sweet cause our main goal is to charge forward in the championship, and that we have achieved. We are now solidly into the top three after a hugely disappointing DNF at Sebring to start the season. We’re still looking for our first win this season, but we’ve had some great showings so far, and I can taste that win. I want it bad…”

“It was our day to play ‘wingman’ to the #7 as they were the leading the race and we had a seriously tough challenge in those Acuras. In the end, it paid off with a victory for Team Penske Porsche, but it stings a bit coming up with only a 4th place finish. I’m confident there will be race where we need our teammates and I know they will be there for us.”