Patrick Long says the accommodation to footfall bottomward from able antagonism has been “many, abounding months” in the authoritative afterwards what he feels his active career has run its “natural course.”
The 40-year-old Porsche branch pilot appear Thursday that this weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans will be his final chase as a full-time disciplinarian as Long prepares for his abutting capacity with Porsche Motorsport North America and Porsche Cars North America.
Long, one of the best acknowledged sports car antagonism drivers in North America, has spent the aftermost two decades affiliated with the German manufacturer, accomplishing chic wins and championships forth the way in an illustrious career in Porsche ancestor and GT machinery.
“I’ve consistently had ambitions that were greater than aloof driving,” Long told Sportscar365. “Having my own business and additionally my own programs aural PMNA and PAG (Porsche AG) that are not driver-related.
“It’s aloof taken a accustomed course.
“I’ve consistently had some affectionate of centralized gut activity that actuality a disciplinarian and actuality apparent to all of the actual able individuals in this paddock was activity to be my university.”
Long said it took about a year-and-a-half alive with Porsche to carve out his new roles, both as a cast agent for PCNA and a antagonism adviser at PMNA.
“The buzz rang and it was an absorbing chat that started with Dr. [Frank-Steffen] Walliser,” said Long. “He’s the affectionate of guy — although he’s not clearly complex in motorsport today, he’s consistently been a motorsport guy.
“My accord started with him on a drive from Nürburgring to Stuttgart in 2003 in my Boxster as a [Porsche] Junior. I didn’t apperceive him and he didn’t apperceive me.
“He had aloof accomplished the Carrera GT and we aloof talked like we were old accompany for two hours.
“It’s applicable that he’s been one of the bodies who accept brought advanced some ideas.
“We had been alive on that in the background, all the while aggravating to admonish myself that I accept to be focused on active and I accept to be focused on my role aural this alignment with Ryan [Hardwick] and Wright.
“I’m absolutely at accord and compassionate that this is all arena out. It feels absolutely acceptable but I did belittle yesterday’s emotions.
“There’s consistently been a cull and an appetite that I accept added to accord to this paddock, to this company, to my own claimed ambitions.
“I had a ambition of antagonism in a accordant ambiance and authoritative abiding that I was aces of the bench I had. This has been an astonishing opportunity.
“Not talking about after-effects but the experience. The bulk of countries and continents and seeing the world. From a active perspective, there’s annihilation bistro at me that’s like, ‘Man, maybe I could achieve or acquaintance X, Y or Z.’
“It was aloof time.”
Long said he can’t define one specific highlight in his career but rather a acme of moment that helped appearance the time back active for Porsche as its sole American branch disciplinarian as able-bodied as added antagonism exploits.
“I capital to win my chic in the big ability races,” he said. “I capital to win some contest in added disciplines such as Baja, ARCA, South American touring cars.
“I capital to acquaintance altered types of motorsport at a aerial level.
“From a sports car side, activity to Le Mans as a adversary for the aboriginal time with Joerg [Bergmeister] and Sascha [Maassen] in 2004 and continuing on the top footfall of the belvedere aboriginal time out, that was a appealing agrarian affect as a rookie.
“Last year, the final assignment at Sebring and aloof the shock of continuing on the roof of the car afterwards the chase and missing that championship by one point but it didn’t amount because it was such a agrarian final assignment with so abounding abundant competitors.
“I’m best beholden for the multi-year relationships central the teams, the Lizards, Penske, Wright, Petersen/White Lighting… the account goes on.
“It wasn’t aloof a artisan for appoint but I’ve developed into these organizations. I adulation the bodies abaft the scenes.
“My advance artisan Lee Marks, we’ve been calm for over a decade. Bobby [Viglione] is my architect for the aftermost bristles years. The account goes on.
“Putting my feel on one — I don’t absolutely accept that. I would say that I never dreamt of antagonism for Penske. All those years alive up and watching the 500 and to still accept a accord with Roger is special.
“I’m aflame about 2023 and what ability abide there on the added ancillary of the wall. There’s a lot of things to be beholden for.
“I am attractive advanced to the era of sports car antagonism that this action is branch into. I achievement I can accept a allusive addition but that’s yet to be seen.”
John Dagys is the architect and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports contributor for FOXSports.com and SPEED Channel and has contributed to abundant added motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John
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