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Blancpain GT America

Long: “We’re in a Race Against Time for St. Petersburg”

EFFORT Racing expecting to be on grid with No. 31 Porsche in St. Pete…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPix.com

EFFORT Racing is in a race against the clock to rebuild its brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 R for next weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge race at St. Petersburg following a heavy accident at the start of Sunday’s race at Circuit of The Americas.

Patrick Long, who won Saturday’s opening race of the season, was uninjured in accident, which was triggered by contact from the No. 33 Always Evolving Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of James Davison, who later served a penalty for the incident.

“I had a big hit at the start from behind,” Long said. “I haven’t seen the video yet, so it’s hard to process the emotion.

“The main thing is that Porsche builds us a safe race car. I’m okay, I just feel for our guys. The whole crew worked their tails off for us this weekend.”

Representatives from Porsche, along with the EFFORT team began assessing the damage post-race, which has seen the car sustain chassis damage to the front.

Team owner Chuck Toups told Sportscar365 the plan is to get the car into a rolling state, load it into its transporter and then head directly to Florida, where they will work at a Porsche body shop on repairs.

Official track activity for the St. Pete round begins on Thursday afternoon.

“We’re in a race against time for St. Petersburg, but I’m confident I have not only 110 percent effort from this crew, but Porsche is here and willing to do whatever it takes,” Long said.

‘I feel good about our chances of being on the grid for Practice 1 at St. Pete, and we’ll just turn our focus forward.

“It’s a long championship and we’ve got a great project here and I think we’re going to come back from this stronger than before.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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