Patrick Long will retire from full-time driving following Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans to take on new roles within Porsche Motorsport North America and Porsche Cars North America.
The 40-year-old Californian — Porsche’s only current American factory driver — has achieved more than 50 victories and six major titles in an illustrious 20-year career with the German manufacturer.
Long will take part in his final race as a factory driver at the wheel of Wright Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R on Saturday alongside Jan Heylen and Trent Hindman in the GT Daytona class.
He has been named a brand ambassador for PCNA while serving as a competition advisor for PMNA.
“My passion for motorsports has not lessened since the first time I sat in a kart,” said Long. “In fact, I would say it is greater than ever before.
“But, in the last several months I have recognized that the focus of that passion has gradually shifted.
“I still love to race, to make a Porsche do what I want it to do and, most of all, to win. But that passion is now more fulfilled by taking part in the bigger picture.
“To support the brand that has supported me and to help usher in a future of Porsche Motorsport that holds true to where Porsche came from.
“I am honored and excited by these new roles with Porsche Cars North America and Porsche Motorsport North America.
“It is bittersweet, of course, to not be lining up at the Rolex 24 in 2022 after 18 consecutive starts, but I know that this is the right decision for me, and I am excited to help steer the future of Porsche in a different but equally fulfilling way.”
With a “wealth of practical experience” in motorsports and the automotive sector, Long will become a brand ambassador for PCNA and will remain an “intricate” part of the planning and execution of key Porsche Motorsport programs in North America, according to a statement from the manufacturer.
“While he will no longer pursue full-season rides at the top-level, his new role will allow the technical-minded driver an opportunity to test and compete in current machinery while assisting Porsche customer and factory teams where needed,” the statement read.
“To satisfy the keen competitive nature that made him a legend on-track, Long also plans to strap into the cockpit of historic and vintage Porsche racing machines at some of the largest automotive events around the globe.”
Long first joined Porsche in 2002 after having won the Porsche Junior driver selection shootout and spent 18 years as a factory driver that included two class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three wins at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and a Rolex 24 at Daytona class win.
In addition to three IMSA titles and two in SRO America competition, Long has made nearly 150 career starts in IMSA competition.