Victory at St. Petersburg!

April 06, 2009

Photos © Rick Dole.

Patrick Long and teammate Jörg Bergmeister stormed to their first victory of the 2009 ALMS season, winning the GT2 class by more than 2 full laps at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. In doing so, Long and Bergmeister gained sole possession of the ALMS GT2 driver’s championship, and take considerable momentum into the third round of the season, to be held April 16–18 at the Long Beach Grand Prix. After a slight error in qualifying, Long started the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3RSR in 5th place, and methodically worked his way through the competition, taking the lead at around the 45-minute mark of the one hour, 55 minute race. Some of Flying Lizard’s key competition for the season encountered mechanical gremlins during the race, making the championship push that much easier for Long and Bergmeister.

Patrick commented, “As wild as that stint was for me, it was the most fun that you can have in racing: you are the hunter and not the hunted. It’s a testament to the team’s pit work, strategy and engineering: we didn’t qualify where we wanted, but the car was very strong for the race. The toughest thing for me as a driver was staying patient: I needed to get through the BMWs, then knowing that Wolf was up front and that we had a car that could run with them. That’s what endurance racing is about: channeling your aggression, knowing when to push and when to be patient.”

The short break between St. Petersburg and Long Beach doesn’t look to provide much down time for Patrick, as he is tasked with testing and media duties for Porsche in the interim. Patrick will be working with Porsche and Yokohama to help develop the spec tire for the Patron GT3 Challenge series, as well as provide television commentary on SPEEDTV for the races. After testing, Patrick will head to the New York Auto Show for Porsche, then make the trip cross-country for more media duties in advance of the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Patrick’s Porsche Club of America blog continues, at:

Patrick will additionally be providing exclusive columns and video blog entries at after each race. To view the latest content, click here.

Television coverage for the 2009 ALMS Long Beach Grand Prix will be broadcast tape-delayed on Sunday, April 19 at 12:30pm EDT, on ABC.