GTLM Classes Headline Return To Long Beach
United SportsCar Championship returns to the Toyota
Grand Prix of Long Beach for Round 3 of the 2015 season,
the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase on Saturday,
The 100-minute event will
showcase two TUDOR Championship classes – Prototype (P)
and GT Le Mans (GTLM) — as part of the 41st Toyota Grand
Prix of Long Beach.
A year ago, the event was
part of the inaugural TUDOR Championship season.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas took their second
P class victory of the season for Chip Ganassi Racing
with Felix Sabates, while Corvette Racing’s Antonio
Garcia and Jan Magnussen scored the first
GTLM triumph for the new Corvette C7.R.
drives for DeltaWing Racing, sharing the No. 0 Claro
Video/TracFone DWC13 with Katherine Legge in what
will be the unique prototype’s first event on a street
Pruett returns in the No.
01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley with a new co-driver Joey Hand.
The Chip Ganassi Racing sports car team is a perfect
two-for-two at Long Beach. Pruett won with Luis Diaz
in a GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race in 2006.
Magnussen return to Long Beach riding a three-race TUDOR
Championship win streak after taking the GTLM class in
both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve
Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida to open
the 2015 season.
Action Express Maintains Perfect TUDOR
Championship Reliability Record
Barbosa continued their perfect record when they
joined Sebastien Bourdais in winning the recent
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From
Florida. The pair have completed every possible racing
lap in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition,
beginning with their victory in the debut event – the
2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Since then, the drivers
of the Action Express Racing No. 5 Mustang Sampling
Corvette DP have racked up four victories, logged more
than 10,000 racing miles, and won both the TUDOR
Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance
Cup in 2014. Barbosa and Fittipaldi enter Long Beach
leading the Prototype (P) standings, leading non-entered
IndyCar star Scott Dixon by four points and
VisitFlorida.com Racing drivers Richard Westbrook
and Michael Valiante by seven points.
Brothers Ricky and
Jordan Taylor finished second at Long Beach in
2014, coming up short by 0.759 seconds. They return in
Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP.
Michael Shank Racing with
Curb/Agajanian will be in the spotlight in Friday’s
qualifying (8:30 p.m. ET, live on IMSA.com). Ozz
Negri qualified second for the team at Long Beach in
2014. Negri opened the season by capturing the pole for
the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 60 Michael Shank
Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2/Honda. With the
qualifying driver also starting the race, look for
co-driver John Pew to qualify on Friday.
Corvette Returns To Scene Of First Victory
For C7.R; Luhr Seeks Fifth Win In BMW
Racing brought a brand-new car and plenty of history to
last year’s Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen went on to
record the first victory for the Corvette C7.R, giving
the team its fifth victory in eight races at Long Beach
triumph opened the floodgates for the yellow No. 3 C7.R,
with Garcia and Magnussen rolling off four consecutive
The team has
a strong heritage at Long Beach, with five victories in
the lead GT category since the American Le Mans Series
presented by Tequila Patrón made its debut on the
circuit in 2007. The team reeled off three consecutive
GT1 victories from 2007-09, with Magnussen winning in
2008. Oliver Gavin – who shares the team’s No. 4
Corvette C7.R with Tommy Milner – won in 2008.
Gavin and Milner also won in ALMS GT in 2012.
of Lucas Luhr to the BMW Team RLL lineup boosts
that team’s winning heritage at Long Beach. Luhr is the
event’s leading overall sports car winner in the event
with four victories. Luhr – who now drives the No. 24
IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM with
– won with Audi in 2008 and with Pickett Racing from
2011 through 2013.
BMW has a
pair of GT victories at the circuit. Joey Hand
and Dirk Mueller triumphed in 2011, while Bill
Auberlen and Maxime Martin were the 2013
winners. Auberlen lives in Redondo Beach, less than 15
miles from Long Beach.
America has shifted its lineup. Patrick Pilet
will join Frederic Makowiecki in the No. 911
Porsche 911 RSR, while Richard Lietz will
co-drive the team’s No. 912 with
Bergmeister. Lietz is the team’s lone returnee
from the 2014 Long Beach event, finishing fourth.
is a two-time winner for Flying Lizard Motorsports at
Long Beach. After winning with
in the ALMS GT2 class in 2009, the pair won in GT the
following year in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Competizione, which fields the No. 62 Ferrari F458
Italia for Giancarlo Fisichella and
won the GT2 class at Long Beach in 2007.
‘No-Repeat’ Pole Streak Continue In GTLM Qualifying?
North America driver
Makowiecki set the fastest time in qualifying for
the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From
Florida, he became the 13th different pole winner in 13
TUDOR Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) races.
Can that streak continue through the Tequila
Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach in the highly
Porsche North America’s Patrick Pilet,
Richard Lietz and Joerg Bergmeister have yet
to win a pole in GTLM competition, joined by BMW Team
RLL’s Lucas Luhr, Bill Auberlen and
Dirk Werner; Team Falken Tire’s Bryan Sellers
and Wolf Henzler; and Corvette Racing’s Tommy
Racing won both the pole and race in the class in 2014
at Long Beach. Fast qualifier
also won the GT1 pole for the team in 2008, while
teammate Oliver Gavin led GT1 qualifying in 2007.
Henzler was the GT2 pole winner in 2009.
to Magnussen and Gavin, other GTLM pole winners entered
at Long Beach are Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia
drivers Pierre Kaffer and Giancarlo Fisichella;
and BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards.
Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes will return
to action at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, joining their P
and GTLM counterparts at the Continental Tire Grand Prix
of Monterey powered by Mazda.
race will feature all four classes competing in a single
two-hour, 40-minute event (Sunday, May 3, live on FOX
Sports 1 at 4 p.m. ET). The P/GTLM and PC/GTD classes
ran separate, two-hour races at Mazda Raceway last year.