Patrick Long – 4th in GT at 2010 12 Hours of Sebring

March 21, 2010

Patrick Long, driving the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Jörg Bergmeister and Marc Lieb, finished 4th in the GT class at the 58th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. A bizarre incident involving the errant wheel of the sister Porsche of Team Falken ruined the Lizards’ chances at a podium finish when the team lost several laps in the pits.

Explaining the incident, Patrick said, “The Falken guys replaced their wheel once after it came off on track, and then the wheel came off a second time, and right at the split second that it happened, Jörg was passing. The wheel came off the Falken car at a sharp angle and while it looked like it was just a glancing blow, at that speed it just wiped out our wheel, tire and fender. It was a pretty routine flat tire for us, but when we came in, race control went yellow to clear up the tire on track, and by the rules, it meant that we couldn’t work on the car until the pits were declared open. To rub salt in the wound, the pace car missed the leader the first time by, so we sat in the pits an extra lap.”

The race proved to be as competitive as billed, with two Porsches, two Corvettes, two BMWs and two Ferraris battling nose-to-tail for the opening stints of the race. Corvette Racing made an uncharacteristic communications mistake which led to their two cars colliding in pit lane and causing substantial – though repairable – damage to both cars. Scott Sharp’s new Extreme Speed Ferrari 430GTE had a spectacular nighttime fire down the long back straight, but prior to that, the new team showed potential.

Summarizing the race, Patrick added, “We finished fourth here last year and it didn’t end up so bad for us. I would have liked to think we had a car that could have raced to the end for the podium, but there were certainly some guys who had an even rougher day than us. It’s about putting points on the board early in the season and getting into the swing — overall we’re happy with the result.”


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Photos © Rick Dole 2010