Patrick Long, a 50-Time Race Winner, Calls It the Right Time to Step Back
By Jeff Olson
BRASELTON, Ga. – Patrick Long will end his lengthy career as a fulltime Porsche factory driver after Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans.
Porsche announced Thursday morning that Long, 40, will cut back his racing schedule in 2022, ending an 18-year run as a fulltime Porsche factory driver and turning his attention to duties as a brand ambassador for Porsche Cars North America and Porsche Motorsport North America.
“It is bittersweet, of course, to not be lining up at the Rolex 24 in 2022 after 18 consecutive starts, but I know that this is the right decision for me,” Long said in a statement. “I am excited to help steer the future of Porsche in a different but equally fulfilling way.”
Long started fast early in his career, recording a GT class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2004 with Jorg Bergmeister and Sascha Maassen in a White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT-RS. In 2007, he teamed with Raymond Narac and Richard Lietz to win the GT2 class at Le Mans in an IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3-RSR.
In all, Long was part of 50 victories. He won three IMSA GT2 championships – 2005, 2009 and 2010 – collected one win in the Rolex 24 At Daytona (GT in 2009) and three triumphs in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts (2005-GT2, 2014-GTLM, 2020-GTD).
His move to a non-racing role won’t lessen his passion for motorsports, Long said.
“In fact, I would say it is greater than ever before,” he said. “But in the last several months I have recognized that the focus of that passion has gradually shifted. I still love to race, to make a Porsche do what I want it to do and, most of all, to win. But that passion is now more fulfilled by taking part in the bigger picture.”
A resident of Westlake Village, California, Long was the only American driver in Porsche’s factory lineup this century.
Long will team with Jan Heylen and Trent Hindman in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R in the 24th annual Motul Petit Le Mans, which opened Thursday with practice sessions at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Long currently sits fourth in the GT Daytona (GTD) point standings.
The 10-hour season finale for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET. Live coverage begins at noon on NBC before switching to NBCSN at 3 p.m. IMSA Radio also has flag-to-flag coverage.