Patrick Long retired from racing after 19 seasons as a Porsche factory driver

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He says perhaps more about me than Patrick Long says that I still refer to him as a “young gunslinger” in motorsport. He joined the Porsche factory team in his early twenties and I always thought he was young and exuberant. Time is ticking for all of us, including the incredibly talented Patrick Long, who is now in his forties. After the SoCal native spent the early part of his career running on open wheels and ultimately lost the Red Bull Formula 1 Driver Search competition to fellow American Scott Speed, he was given the opportunity to upgrade to the rooftops of tin and race GT cars with Porsche as a junior driver in 2003.

Many riders and fans at the time saw this as a step backwards for Long, but look where the signing of the contract took him. Not only has he raced at the highest level of sports car prototypes, won numerous championships and drove some of the most exciting racing cars in the world, but he also built a successful event and merchandising empire thanks to his devotion to the Porsche cooled brand. by air.

It’s safe to say that there are very few people in the world more devoted to the Porsche brand than Patrick Long. With the power of Stuttgart behind him, Long won the Bathurst 12 Hours, the Nurburgring 24 Hours, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours and two Le Mans 24 Hours. Along with all those legendary races, Long has a trio of ALMS championships and a couple of Pirelli World Challenge titles to his credit. More than his talent behind the wheel or his trophy room, Long has earned a reputation in the paddock as a genuinely nice guy and the kind of person you want to hang out with. His knowledge of Porsche history has expanded with every year he has been on the factory team, to the point where it would be difficult to find anyone more experienced than Porsche.

For the non-racing enthusiasts among our readers, you may know Pat Long better as co-founder of the air-cooled Porsche show called Luftgekuhlt. Dreamed between Long and Howie Idelson, the show took off in the stratosphere of the consciousness of traditional car fans. The event is always second to none, cutting zero corners and working to be better every single year. It is the playground of a Porsche creative and I continue to be impressed by the versatility of the show and the ability to blend with increasingly interesting places.

“My passion for motorsports hasn’t diminished since the first time I sat in a kart,” said Long. “In fact, I’d say it’s bigger than ever. But in the last few 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 and, above all, to win. But that passion is now more fulfilled by taking part in the bigger picture. To support the brand that has supported me and to help usher in a future for Porsche Motorsport that lives up to where Porsche comes from. “

After Saturday’s Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, Long will step down from the driver’s seat. From then on he will move on to a more relaxed role within the Porsche brand as “Ambassador for Porsche Cars North America”, which seems appropriate. I can’t think of a better ambassador than Pat Long.

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