Three of Porsche’s most successful factory drivers are set to share a car for just the second time this weekend as part of Porsche North America by Wright Motorsports’ lineup for the inaugural California 8 Hours, and to a man Patrick Long, Romain Dumas, and Joerg Bergmeister are reveling in the opportunity.
The trio has accounted for 39 years of experience with the German manufacturer, notching a combined six victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to go along with innumerable championships and race wins across three stellar racing careers.
Their level of success has many in the paddock calling them a “Super Team”, which elicited smiles and chuckles from all three.
Bergmeister had another suggestion. “Maybe they should call us the oldies!”
Long quickly answered back with, “Oldies but goodies!”
For all of their remarkable success with Porsche, rare has been the occasion for Dumas, Bergmeister, and Long to serve alongside one another as co-drivers.
The first and only previous instance came at the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona driving for Alex Job Racing in a Porsche-powered Crawford DP.
It turned out to be an inauspicious debut for the lineup, with the car suffering a mechanical glitch before the race had even begun.
“I remember that we had an alternator issue on the formation lap,” recalled Dumas. “We had already lost right there. I hope we do better this weekend!”
In spite of the poor result on the first go around, Long said getting the band back together this weekend has been a fun experience.
“It’s known quantities,” he told Sportscar365. “I know that they are trustworthy, quick colleagues, but we can also have a lot of fun off the track and keep it relaxed.
“It’s basically a bonus run for Joerg and I after a great season with Wright Motorsports [in Pirelli World Challenge]. We want to do well but we’re definitely enjoying ourselves.”
Dumas agreed, saying some things never change and poking fun at Bergmeister, who has been under the weather this weekend, in the process.
“For me, nothing has changed since 10 years ago: Joerg is still sick!” he said. “Patrick and Joerg are still a good couple, so it’s quite the same. We have good fun, but we have to have a good race.”
Bergmeister said it brought a smile to his face when he saw what the lineup would look like for this event.
“I was very excited when I found out I would be joining Wright Motorsports for this effort,” said the German.
“I think it’s a very cool event, and joining Patrick and Romain, as Patrick said known quantities, they are super quick and make no mistakes. That’s all you can ask for from teammates.”
Bergmeister, Long, and Dumas have seen their roles shift from the young guns of the Porsche lineup to the experienced veterans in recent years, and largely have a new, younger generation to compete against.
However, each driver was firm in the belief that their performance behind the wheel has not diminished, and the time had not yet come to pass the torch.
“I think for me, I have not driven here for nearly ten years,” said Dumas. “The challenge first of all is to drive a GT3, plus the track, but I have really good teammates.
“I think will enjoy it, first of all, and if we enjoy the race the result will be good. That’s for sure.”
“We all know that we can still perform,” added Bergmeister with a smile. “There’s no worries on that side.”