Long joins Ruby Tuesday’s Rolex lineup
After piloting the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype for two seasons, driver Patrick Long, of Belleair, Fla., returns to the Alex Job Racing stable as its third driver for the upcoming Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 26-27.
Long joins co-drivers Bill Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Joey Hand, of Sacramento, Calif., in search of the team's first Rolex 24 win.
"I'm glad to be back on board for the Rolex 24," Long said. "It is exciting to continue for my third season in a row with AJR and their DP program. And, to have been there from the start, it feels fitting to continue on and go for the win.
"Both Bill and Joey are top line drivers that I've competed against in the past," Long continued. "I competed against Joey all the way back in my karting days and then against Bill when I first got into sports car racing. Both of them have been two of my biggest competitors. Now we'll be driving together, going for the same spot on the podium for this year's 24 hour race. I think we've got an all-pro lineup, which puts us near the top of the list in terms of driver pairings."
With the addition of Long, Job feels this year's Rolex 24 driver lineup is pretty strong.
"It is great to have Porsche factory driver Patrick Long back for this year's 24 hour, after having driven for us the past two seasons," Job said. "Obviously he really knows the car, which means he should fit right in. I think he will work really well with Bill and Joey."
In the past two seasons with the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team, Long recorded three wins (Homestead-Miami Speedway, Virginia International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), eight podiums, 10 top-five finishes, 19 top-10 finishes and four pole positions.
Auberlen, Hand and Long's first opportunity to drive together will be during the January (4-6) Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, in preparation for the Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 26-27. This year, race fans can watch a combined 17 hours of live race coverage between FOX Sports and SPEED Channel. In fact, Fox Sports will carry the first 90 minutes of the race, while also being simulcast on the 1,400 square foot News Astrovision by Panasonic screen located at One Times Square in New York.