Like any street circuit, you can always expect a splurge of storylines and surprises on the streets of Long Beach. This year proved to be no different as Patrick Long and Michael Schein each took second place in their classes respectively, at the end of a red flag induced Round 3 of the Pirelli World Challenge.
Right at the start, Long proved he was one to contend with and drove his Wright Motorsports/Circle Porsche Porsche 911 GT3 R into the first two corners side by side with the class leader, Alvaro Parente. During the opening laps, Long stayed within three-tenths of a second behind Parente and the two were able to bridge notable gap on the rest of the field.
Schein had a turbulent first start at Long Beach when he endured several moments of contact from behind. While it might have thrown him for a loop, Schein was able to maintain second place in an undamaged Porsche 911 GT3 R. From there, he got right back into his groove and built a firm gap in front of the rest of the GTA pack.
The mania began just 15 minutes into the race, when a red flag was thrown for a broken water main between turns eight and nine. Track officials worked diligently to clear the standing water and were able to get the race back underway with 20 minutes on the clock.
It was back to business at the restart as Long immediately filled up the rear view mirrors of Alvaro Parente’s McLaren and Schein rebuilt his gap over John Potter’s Audi. After the field began to settle,
Long sealed second place in GT and Schein took the second place slot in GTA.
Following this weekend’s event, Long is second in the GT class championship, trailing Alvaro Parente by just one point and Schein has retained the GTA class championship lead with six points over James Sofronas.
The Pirelli World Challenge grid will hit the track again April 28-30 for the opening rounds of the SprintX championship. For these rounds Patrick Long will be teamed with fellow Porsche works driver, Jörg Bergmeister and Michael Schein will be paired with Belgian star, Jan Heylen.
Patrick Long // No. 58 Wright Motorsports/Circle Porsche Porsche 911 GT3 R
We made the best of what we had today. Everyone stayed calm through a pretty wild situation with a flooded race track. We were good on the restarts. I was able to give Alvaro [Parente] pressure during the first three laps of each run, then he would settle in and it became tough to stay on his bumper. These types of weekends are what championships are made of; when you keep your wits as a team and play the cards you’re dealt. It also was great to have a bunch of local supporters from Circle Porsche out here this weekend. To have Circle Porsche on the car as a local dealership to the event has been a special honor.
We’ll push on to VIR. I’m looking forward to the first SprintX race. We don’t know what to expect from it just yet, but we’ll take it as it comes and band together as a team. I’m really looking forward to having Jörg [Bergmeister] on board.
Michael Schein // No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
It was definitely an interesting race for my first time at Long Beach. The start was a bit hectic, I got hit in the rear end twice. Luckily there was no damage on the car and we maintained second through the green flag at the beginning. It settled down after that, then the red flag was thrown. I’m happy that they were able to get it cleared up so that we could go racing again. It was a little bit quiet on my end, just because it’s such a tough track to pass on. We head out of here in the points lead, so that’s a big plus for the team and we’re looking forward to heading back to a road circuit at VIR.
Source. Carlin Sanderson/Porsche/Photo. Porsche