Patrick Long Finishes 3rd in LMP2 at St. Petersburg, and 4th Overall

April 05, 2008
Sascha Maassen leads Timo Bernhard - Penske Porsche RS Spyders

UPDATE: Article updated 4/11/2008.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Porsche Factory driver Patrick Long finished round two of the 2008 American Le Mans Series championship at St. Petersburg, FL 3rd in the LMP2 class this past Saturday. Long, racing at St. Petersburg for the first time, drove the second half of the race after receiving the Penske Porsche RS Spyder from co-driver Sascha Maassen near the halfway point of the race.

Team owner Roger Penske demonstrated some of his famed guile and wit, directing his team to make an unorthodox two pit stops during a single yellow flag, gaining back a lap the #6 car had lost due to an earlier racing incident. Long then set about dicing his way through the field to finish an eventual 3rd in class; if not for a green / white / checkered flag restart on the last lap, Long may well have passed 2nd place finisher David Brabham in his Acura ARX-01B.

Patrick said, “Roger put out an unbelievable strategy in the race. Sascha had gotten held up by an LMP1 car early in the race, which caused us to lose a lap. His unorthodox style and quick thinking got us our lap back and fresh rubber to begin the climb to the front.”

“The car was set up perfectly—I was able to charge through and get onto the podium. The last restart was under a green/white/checkered flag, and simply put, we ran out of time to catch Brabham in P2. He played it defensive and I decided to bring the car home to get some points on the board rather than risking any more. It was wild to race on the streets of St. Pete—there was all kinds of traffic, not just with lapped cars but also a very tough intra-class fight. There was all kinds of action and contact, and it’s really a testament to Porsche and Penske engineering that the RS Spyder had no failures or issues.”

Next up for Patrick and the Penske Porsche RS Spyder is a second consecutive street race, this time at the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 18–19. Television coverage will be at 3:30pm ET on ABC, on Sunday April 20.