Park Place Motorsports Five for Fighting at VIR
Park Place Motorsports fought to finish fifth after starting 12th in the MICHELIN GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.
Porsche Works Driver Patrick Long was closing in on fourth when the checkered flag fell. Not only did he push his way up the field from eighth for the top-five finish, but he also became his own strategist when radio communication failed. Long spent the majority of his stint with no connection to the pit stand until entering the front stretch. Alone on course, he gained three positions, correctly called a pass-around and managed fuel. He showcased extreme composure in the aggravatingly long delays between picking up spots due to traffic and the scattered positioning of the GTD field.
Long received a clean car from co-driver and Team Principal Patrick Lindsey who valiantly drove from 12th up to sixth in the GTD Class before the driver change pit window shuffled the field and pushed him up to second. Lindsey's greatest run came when he picked up four positions in his opening laps. Strategy from Director of Race Operations Mike Johnson aided Lindsey in his further push to the front. The team operated efficiently in tracking the No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R in position to charge to the front of the field.
Park Place Motorsports next round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship action is the penultimate round hosted by WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The race weekend takes place Sept. 13-15 in Monterey, California one month before the final round at the newly renamed Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The three-hour race broadcast is set to air live on NBC Sunday, Sept. 15 from 3-6 p.m.
Patrick Long, Porsche Works Driver
"It's been a game of track position this year, and unfortunately we had some minor work to do there," Long said. "The car was quick, but without a radio, it was interesting to try and help run strategy at the same time. I'm proud of the effort; the guys did a great job in the pitstops. Again, we had a very consistent car and just didn't get quite know what we deserved out of the day. At the end of the day, it was good points."
Patrick Lindsey, Team Principal
"The team operated well today, and Pat did a great job out there," Lindsey said. "I think we had a strong car, but we can't start from the back of the pack and win. This field is ultra-competitive this year. As a team, I think we've executed well all year; it's just always something that seems to get in our way from a podium. This weekend we choose the wrong tire for qualifying, but we came from behind for a strong finish which is something to hang our hats on."
Mike Johnson, Director of Race Operations
"It was a nice comeback after a kind of disastrous Road America," Johnson said. "It ended up being a pretty decent points day that put us back in the fight in the Sprint Championship. We got good points in the WeatherTech Championship as well which is important with two races to go. Once again, the team performed very well. We had some great pit stops. We picked up a lot of time on the last pit stop, which allowed us to finish fifth. Overall, I'm very happy. With two races to go, one more sprint race and then the big one, I'm looking forward to finishing the season on a high note."