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IMSA Preview: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Written by Sean McKean


Credit - Art Fleischmann / Autosport


After a wild race in Sebring, Florida with fantastic racing all throughout the field, we head to the Pacific Coast for the third race of the IMSA season in Long Beach, California. This event takes place alongside the IndyCar Grand Prix as well, letting fans experience two of North America’s best racing series in one weekend.


There are 27 entries expected: 10 in the GTP class and 17 in the GTD class.


As the first “sprint” event of the season, qualifying will be key, since Long Beach is notoriously difficult to overtake and is only one hour and 40 minutes long. This will emphasise the importance not only of drivers’ pace, but also the efficiency from the pit crews.


The ones to watch for will be defending winners of the 2023 race: Penske Porsche’s #6 piloted by Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet. Having overtaken the #10 Wayne Taylor Acura in the closing stages of the race, these two drivers know exactly how to secure the top spot when it matters most.


However, momentum is on the side of defending race winners in the #40 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura of Jordan Taylor and Louis Deletraz. On the same topic of late-race passes, Deletraz’s monster stint at the end of Sebring got him past Bourdais to take WTR’s first victory in over a year. Keep an eye on the #40 entry on Saturday!


For the second and last class of the weekend, GTD has the most entries, and the favourite amongst all of them is the #57 Windward Mercedes piloted by Russell Ward and Philip Ellis. Having won their class in both Daytona and Sebring, there’s nothing that suggests they won’t make it three in a row come the end of Sunday.


Though they don’t have the same lineup this year, the #27 Heart of Racing Team have the driver who finished runner-up in the class last year in Roman de Angelis, who will be partnered this weekend by Spencer Pumpelly. With both having shown their pace on this track in recent memory, expect these two to make appearances up front.


The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will begin at 16:35EST (13:35 local, 22:35 CET)



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