Thursday, April 15, 2010
Patrick Long back to repeat as American Le Mans Series winner at Long Beach
Patrick Long, a driver from Thousand Oaks, won the GT2 portion of the American Le Mans Series race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach last year. Teamed with Joerg Bergmeister, Long went on to win the GT2 championship in 2009. The win at Long Beach was one of five in a row for the driver tandem for Flying Lizard Motorsports in the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Repeating as Long Beach winners will be difficult. It's never easy to repeat as race winners, but it will be especially tough because of the number of cars and the different manufacturers that will be in the Long Beach race on Saturday.
"I want to defend what we had last year which was a victory," Long said. "But it's not going to be easy. I think a lot more cars, new drivers and a lot of yellow flags, it's going to mean you have to hit all your marks and have perfect strategy."
Corvette, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar and Ford, in addition to Porsche, have entries in the newly formed GT class for the American Le Mans Series race at Long Beach.
"It's always great to be in Long Beach," Long said. "This is my back yard. I remember growing up here as a young Southern California kid trying to sneak into the pits to try to see Nigel Mansell or Rick Mears. Coming here is special to me."
Long has been keeping busy outside of the American Le Mans Series as well. He raced in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina and he said he would like to find a ride for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America in Wisconsin.