BOLINGBROOK, ILL. (Sept. 26, 2017) - WeatherTech Racing today announced that Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) will join Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) in the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R at next week's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Long, a veteran factory Porsche driver, joins a driving duo that saw some success early in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship season with a win on the streets of Long Beach. That said, the team looks to finish the season equally strong with Long's addition for the 10-hour race at Road Atlanta.
"I have been friends, and competitors, with Cooper and Gunnar for a long time," Long said. "When they switched back to the Porsche mid-season I knew that would be a good opportunity for me to run in a strong car at Petit Le Mans. They won at Long Beach early in the year and I am hoping to combine with them and win next week at Road Atlanta. They have always run a top program and they are fun guys to hang around with as well. I think we will have as good a shot as anyone come the green flag."
This will be the first time Long, MacNeil and Jeanette have co-driven together, and given each drivers' individual success (all three have won drivers' championships), this could be a threesome that has the potential win in the ultra-competitive GTD class at Petit Le Mans.
"I'm super excited to drive with Pat [Long]," MacNeil said. "His career achievement list speaks for itself. The guy has been a Porsche factory driver for a long as I can remember and he's always been one of the fastest guys who has driven for Porsche. He already has two Pirelli World Challenge Championships in the same car we're going to be racing at Petit - the Porsche GT3 R. He's got a ton of experience in the car. He can drive it really fast. I've always wanted to drive with Pat. Gunnar's always wanted to drive with Pat. So, now we're finally putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together and we're going to go try to win the race."
"To be back with Porsche for our first endurance race this year, going to Petit is great," Jeannette said. "We skipped Petit last year. So, Cooper and I are really looking forward to racing there. To have Pat there with us is awesome. Having Pat, as the American Porsche factory driver, is going to be a great addition. Pat and I have race against each other in a lot of stuff over the years. So, to actually drive together, I'm really looking forward to it. It's great for WeatherTech to have an all-American lineup."
In 2017, Long has primarily raced in the Pirelli World Challenge series for Wright Motorsports where he won the GT Drivers' Championship. He has also run in four WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races. His best WeatherTech finish this season was a third at Lime Rock Park in July.