Long Savors ‘Sweetest’ PWC GT Overall Title

Patrick Long’s battles for the Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship could not have been more different in 2016 and 2017. Even if one ignores the final outcome – a narrow second place in the points last season, and the Overall and Sprint GT championships this year – the way they happened was at opposite ends of the spectrum. The 2016 GT title came down to the last half lap, when Long, leading title rival Alvaro Parente by one position in the race and the championship, made a move around race leader Johnny O’Connell, who had put wheels in the dirt exiting Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s Turn 4. O’Connell and Long touched in Turn 5, Long went into the dirt himself, and Parente sailed through for the championship.

In the final GT race of 2017 at Sonoma Raceway, Long could do whatever he wanted. The overall championship was his, and nothing Parente or eventual race winner Michael Cooper could do was going to change that. So Long raced hard and finished second.

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