Road America’s winning GT Daytona combination of Porsche factory driver Patrick Long and two-time IMSA GT Daytona champion Christina Nielsen pointed to chemistry as the underlying key to victory.
Coming off a frustrating race at Lime Rock where Long’s pole position went south in the latter stages of the race when mechanical issues intervened, the Californian credited his Danish teammate and the Ohio-based Wright Motorsports team for coming together in the face of adversity.
“It’s really cool,” he told RACER. “Every time you can link up with a new driver and win, it means you’ve worked on a partnership and can have a perfect weekend like this where we had three flawless stints. If we had one slip-up, we were out, so it’s a testament to Christina and everyone at Wright.
“And we’re all different. I’m a moody creature. And I’m a highly focused person, and a situation like Lime Rock brings out a lot of emotion. It also brought out the smoothest, best execution from everyone in the team. You learn a lot about each other when things go wrong, and we all pulled together.”
For Nielsen, working with a champion of Long’s caliber could have been daunting, but she’s found an important ally when it comes to tuning their Porsche 911 GT3 R for success.
“One of the things that has been really nice this year is Pat and I give similar feedback on the car, we want the same improvements, and I can relate to a lot of things he says,” she said.
“Creating the perfect car is never easy, but we’re on the same page and have the same mindset, so it makes it easier to believe you can achieve it.”
Long, like Nielsen, was beaming with pride over their achievement at Road America’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
“At Lime Rock we were good, but this was really amazing,” he added.