Patrick Long was part of the driving crew for TRG at Daytona as the team took a 1-2 finish in the GT class of the Rolex 24.

Crash.net caught up with Long after the race to get his thoughts...

Crash.net:
Patrick, I guess you're delighted with the victory...

Patrick Long:
I think it's pretty unbelievable that TRG locked out the top two positions and it was an all Porsche podium. That means I was in pretty good company. For me personally as a driver, to not have the Rolex 24 as one of the endurance races I have wanted to win has eaten away at me for the last five seasons. To get Le Mans quite early in my career, as well as Petit Le Mans and Sebring, I often wondered if I was ever going to win this race. To get it is surreal and gives me a phenomenal, tingling kind of feeling.

Crash.net:
A lot of the focus in sportscar racing is on the main class and the GT battle is often overlooked somewhat. But it was a good battle again, even if it wasn't as close as in the DP class.

Patrick Long:
I've done it three times in a GT class car and three times in a DP car and I've never had to work as hard as I did this year. It just goes to show that sometimes the GT guys are the unsung heroes of the race. That's taking nothing away from the DP class and this year it was phenomenal, but there are two races going on out there which is the cool thing about sportscar racing. Some people may discount it as a class win but I have run here overall and come close to the win but I didn't have to drive any harder to do that. It's all about going out there and driving as fast as you can.

Crash.net:
Success at Petit Le Mans, Le Mans in the past and now here. How does this compare?

Patrick Long:
Well I think the Rolex is unique because you have as many cars as you do at Le Mans, but on half the track. It's busy and it is more about surviving - especially in GT cars. I think my take on driving GT cars now is more on the survival mode and protecting the car while preaching to my team-mates on how to be mistake free both in the pits and on the track; because then you'll guarantee a good solid podium or victory. To win is pretty sweet and the watch makes this event pretty iconic. To have that reminder is pretty sweet.

Crash.net:
It must be quite surreal as well with the closing speed of the cars going around the banking when you may find a DP car on each side as they lap you?

Patrick Long:
Yeah it's always busy and certainly during the night you have some wild battles and some DP drivers come to the Rolex for the prestige and haven't done endurance racing before. With that, they don't have a general understanding of how you have to co-exist on the race track with two classes on the track. You know those drivers and give them a little more room but you hope they understand how it works. But I wasn't perfect when I started out and I've learned how to co-exist and it's a good feeling.

Crash.net:
How does the win set you up for the rest of the season?

Patrick Long:
It's a great way to start. I'm back in GT racing and to be back with Jorg again, we're going for the ALMS championship with Flying Lizard and this is a great way to head south for the Winter Test.

Crash.net:
How do you think the season will pan out in the ALMS?

Patrick Long:
I don't see the GT2 class ever being as competitive as it will be this season. With BMW returning and the GM guys coming over as well, you have huge manufacturers involved.

 

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