Fresh Brewed & Air Cooled: Deep Tracks with Patrick Long

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Even by the early age of 17, Patrick Long’s talents as a driver were undeniable and had caught the attention of competitors and prospective race teams alike. A long list of victories in kart racing in the US and Europe could already be associated with his name, and he quickly set himself apart in 1998 by becoming the first American to win an International European karting competition in 20 years, then continued on to win 15 WKA Constructor’s Cup series races in a row, landing him second in the international North American Karting Championship. He made his debut in automobile racing after moving to France in 1999 and wasted no time accumulating victories in Formula Dodge and Formula Ford open-wheel race series. 

In 2002, he caught Porsche’s attention when he was selected to be one of the final six drivers in the Red Bull F1 Driver search program, and just a year later he made his debut as a UPS Porsche Junior factory driver in Germany’s Porsche Carrera Cup. Despite being a rookie in the series, he quickly racked up an outright win and two podium finishes in Germany, two wins in the British Carrera Cup. He ran a number of Porsche Supercup race, taking second at Nürburgring after setting the pole and a third place finish at Monaco before making his ALMS debut at the Petit LeMans and finishing fourth in GT. 

His 2003 season was just the start of his career with Porsche, and he has since served as the sole American on Porsche’s list of factory drivers, taking a number of victories at the many of the most storied endurance races in motorsports in GT and Prototype classes. He is a three-time American Le Mans Series champion, two-time Pirelli World Challenge champion, and a Patron Endurance Cup Driver’s Champion. In addition to sports car racing, Patrick has competed in NASCAR, the Baja 1000, and Vintage racing. Through Patrick’s career racing with Porsche he’s experienced firsthand the evolution of the water-cooled competition 911s, including the revolutionary GT3 R Hybrid and mid-engined 911 RSR, as well as the fabled RS Spyder prototype. 

Since so much of Patrick’s racing career has been spent behind the wheel of modern-water cooled Porsche’s and at high speeds, it is an interesting juxtaposition that he happens to be the co-founder of the air-cooled centric Luftgekühlt brand. What began as a curated Porsche get-together in a coffee shop parking lot, Luftgekühlt now brings together historically significant race and street Porsches spanning the Pre-A 356 era to the 993 models, and situates them in interesting venues and creative displays to inspire and foster the passion for the cars and their storylines. 

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