Though these three laps were supposed to calm, Patrick Long didn't get the memo. Either that, or his natural talent was enough to carry him to ~1:31 laps around Laguna Seca during last year's Rennsport Reunion VI. The unspoken rule at events like these is to take things a little calmer—these cars aren't cheap—than one might in an IMSA race. Some more cynical observers might call them a high-speed procession. Long had different ideas.
Long, sporting a retro-styled helmet for the event, gets to grips quickly with the 935 after one relatively slow lap. Even when his first flyer begins, traffic hinders his progress and makes his time all the more impressive. After threading through a pack of 935s, he demonstrates his disapproval of the other driver with a telling shake of the head (2:37). For a driver who's always so diplomatic and measured in his speech, it's nice to see some real emotion brought out by the heat of battle.
Still, like an icy cool professional, he proceeds unfazed. Despite the traffic and relatively cold tires, he loses minimal time, puts the 800 horsepower down cleanly, and rows the slightly notchy four-speed so smoothly. Without any major errors, he snags a 1:34 and makes it look simple.
The second lap is even faster. Free from as much traffic, he can ring out the 3.2-liter motor over Laguna's Turn 1 and give us a great idea of the small nuclear explosion he's riding on top of. The power delivery is quite abrupt, but the car still puts it down without much of any histrionics; only a bit of wheelspin in slower corners like Turn 2 and The Corkscrew. In fact, the most oversteer appears at turn-in—watch how he has to mildly countersteer as he but Long's quick hands keep the car pointed in the right direction. Only a consummate professional like him can make it look easy.