Driving a Porsche 911 on the limit is usually a pretty busy process. The driver must manage the odd weight distribution, the heavy steering inputs, and the challenge of managing a light front and a snappy rear. Those are all generalities, and not necessarily true with every 911, but they’re more likely to be seen when a 911 is running on very cold slicks.
Patrick Long knows his way around a Porsche 911, being Porsche’s only American factory driver, and he does not hesitate to get this 997 GT3 Cup into working shape. Over the course of a few laps, he adjusts his style to bring the tires up to temperature and get the car turning neatly, putting the power down cleanly, and chopping chunks off his lap time.
From the beginning of his out lap at Monticello Motor Club, he warms the front tires by shimmying in a straight line; first with quick steering movements, then with gradually smoother inputs while running flat down the straightaway.
The front axle slowly grows more responsive, but after enduring a slight push through the uphill Turn 17 at 1:40, he then drops his right hand to turn the brake bias adjuster for a little more rotation into the corner.
Putting the power down hard and hopping the rear slightly, the rear breaks away violently through the downhill, bumpy, off-camber Turn 18 and Long has to reduce his throttle inputs to keep it underneath him (1:55). Though, the car grows much more manageable over the course of the lap, the steering inputs are reduced, and the overall speed goes up visibly as he continues to slide the rear to raise the tire temperatures.
The rear still breaks away in Turn 18 on the following lap, though this time the slip angle is reduced, and the grip obviously greater (4:13). With the tires working underneath him, Long looks relatively unflustered, smooth, and assertive, and records a then-record lap (2010) for GT3 Cup Cars. As his methodical approach for getting the tires to their optimal condition is obviously well-practiced, it’s not so surprising that he snagged that sizzling 2:17.2 lap.