Born and raised in Southern California, Patrick Long is an unusual American race car driver. Growing up in a motorsports-mad family, Patrick was riding motocross bikes at the age of 5, and his Dad built him his first kart at age 6. Patrick began racing karts competitively at age 8, and went on to capture several State and National championships before moving to Europe alone, to pursue a professional driving career, at age 16. Long competed in Italy for factory karting team CRG in 1998, and in 1999, he picked up an Elf Fuels scholarship, then moved to France to make his debut in formula cars. For the next five years, Long lived all over Europe and drove in several top-level open wheel series before being selected as one of the final six racers in the inaugural class of the Red Bull Formula One Driver Search. In 2003, on the back of Red Bull’s nod, Patrick landed his first factory job, when Porsche contracted him to take part in their prestigious UPS Junior team, where he raced and won in the German and British Porsche Carrera Cups and the Michelin Supercup.
Plucked early from Porsche’s in-house minor league team and promoted to Porsche works team as one of only six worldwide factory drivers, Patrick made his professional debut in the United States in 2003. In 2004, he captured a victory at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, and began winning regularly in the American Le Mans Series in 2005, promptly winning that series’ driver’s championship. With victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring (2005), Petit Le Mans (2005, 2007) and at the famed Rolex 24 at Daytona (2009), Patrick became the youngest-ever American winner of the four major sportscar “classics”. In 2006, he was drafted in by racing and business icon Roger Penske to drive the incredible Porsche RS Spyder prototype.
After driving for Penske in the endurance classics in 2006 and 2007, Patrick was signed to drive the RS Spyder full-time for Penske Racing for the 2008 season. For 2009, Long has joined California-based team Flying Lizard Motorsport, driving the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, to race against the factory teams from Ferrari, BMW, Corvette and Jaguar,
Patrick is conversationally fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Italian) owing from his formative years spent abroad, considers his personal style a mashup of SoCal and Europe, and gets to drive the latest and greatest Porsches as company cars. Outside the race car, Patrick remains a gearhead par excellence, spending time training and goofing off on his motocross bike and building a custom hot rod. Of interest, Patrick’s younger brother Kevin is a professional skateboarder who goes by the handle “Spanky”.
Q & A
What are Risks?
Anything that could create regret.
You Feel Pain?
At the end of a 3-hour stint come 4 in the morning of a 24-hour race, absolutely.
Travel can be?
One of the best and one of the worst parts of my lifestyle.
Harp and Red Breast (Whiskey)
Items you can't live without?
Earplugs. In the race car, but more specifically on the airplane, in the hotel, on a bus- if you haven't tried it, it's like a vacation.
The 80's BMX flick RAD
When did you start your sport?
Who inspires you?
Mike Albertson and Dan Gurney