IMSA News And Notes: Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase At Long Beach

Please see attached News And Notes, below is a text-only version.

Fast Facts

The Race: Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase
The Event: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
The Track: 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit
Race Date: April 18, 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: (Live, 7:05 p.m. ET)
FOX Sports 1 (Sunday, April 19, 4-6 p.m. ET)

Prototypes, GTLM Classes Headline Return To Long Beach

The TUDOR 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, April 18.
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.
Rojas now 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 course.
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.
Garcia and 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

Christian Fittipaldi and Joao 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 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 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

Corvette 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 since 2007.
Last year’s triumph opened the floodgates for the yellow No. 3 C7.R, with Garcia and Magnussen rolling off four consecutive victories.
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.
The addition 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 John Edwards – 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.
Porsche North 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 Joerg Bergmeister. Lietz is the team’s lone returnee from the 2014 Long Beach event, finishing fourth.
Bergmeister is a two-time winner for Flying Lizard Motorsports at Long Beach. After winning with Patrick Long in the ALMS GT2 class in 2009, the pair won in GT the following year in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Risi Competizione, which fields the No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia for Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer, won the GT2 class at Long Beach in 2007.

Can ‘No-Repeat’ Pole Streak Continue In GTLM Qualifying?

When Porsche North America driver Frederic 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 competitive class?
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 Milner.
Corvette Racing won both the pole and race in the class in 2014 at Long Beach. Fast qualifier Jan Magnussen 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.
In addition to Magnussen and Gavin, other GTLM pole winners entered at Long Beach are Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia drivers Pierre Kaffer and Giancarlo Fisichella; Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia; and BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards.
The Prototype 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.
This year’s 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.

IMSA Contact:

Nate Siebens



Grand Prix of Long Beach Contact:

Chris Esslinger



2015 Long Beach NN.pdf

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