GPALB NEWS
DIRECTIONS/ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Tickets Go On Sale Cyber Monday!

November 23, 2022

Southern California’s 200-MPH Beach Party® is back! Tickets for the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will take place April 14-16, go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. PT.

The race weekend will feature the third round of the NTT INDYCAR® SERIES with celebrated drivers such as four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, defending Long Beach winner Josef Newgarden, 2021 winner Colton Herta, defending series champion Will Power, 2021 champion Alex Palou, six-time champion Scott Dixon and young stars such as Pato O’Ward, 2022 Rookie of the Year Christian Lundgaard and Rinus VeeKay expected to battle on the famed 1.97-mile, 11-turn circuit through downtown Long Beach.

In addition, the Saturday, April 15 featured event will be the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with its all-new GTP (GT Prototype) class, featuring newly designed hybrid prototypes from the likes of Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche driven by defending series champions Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis, as well as Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Earl Bamber. The GTP cars will be joined on track by the GTD PRO and GTD (GT Daytona) classes, making for an exciting (and pass-filled) race.  

Fans will also see two nights of the Super Drift Challenge Friday and Saturday, Saturday and Sunday races from Robby Gordon’s SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and Porsche Carrera Cup North America, along with a doubleheader of the new-for-2023 Historic F1 Challenge, featuring vintage Formula 1 cars from the 1970s and ‘80s.

“We have put together another exciting event on the track for 2023,” said Jim Michaelian, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO. “After returning to our traditional April date this year, we had an extremely successful event and we are looking forward to building on that momentum to bring even more excitement and family fun back to the streets of Long Beach. It’s going to be a beach party full of activity for the entire family.”

Off the track, the event’s menu of family entertainment will also include the Lifestyle Expo featuring a more than 100 product and service displays and a large Family Fun Zone with racing simulators, kids’ racing cars, computer games and action sports. Add to that driver autograph sessions, special events, the popular Food Truck Experience and Sunday’s Mothers Exotic Car Paddock, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Ticket prices range from $38 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $175 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in grandstand upper levels.  Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, NTT INDYCAR SERIES Paddock access passes ($70 for three days or $30 per individual day), Super Photo tickets and an array of VIP Club packages.

At 10 a.m. PT on Monday, fans can select and pay for their 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333.  

Fans can also follow the Acura Grand Prix on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @GPLongBeach and Instagram at GPLongBeach.

Read full article

Formula DRIFT Announces 2023 Schedule!

November 3, 2022

With the smoke still clearing from the Final Round of the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, the series is announcing its 2023 schedule at SEMA in Las Vegas. The venues for the eight-round PRO Championship remain unchanged and will culminate at its traditional Irwindale Speedway venue.

Formula DRIFT will once again stage its invitational Super Drift Challenge at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Friday and Saturday nights, April 14-15.

2023 FORMULA DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

VENUE, LOCATION, DATE

Streets of Long Beach, Long Beach, April 7-8

Super Drift Challenge, Long Beach, April 14-15

Road Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, May 11-13

Orlando Speed World, Orlando, FL, May 26-27

Englishtown Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ, June 22-24

World Wide Technology Raceway, St Louis, MO, July 13-15

Evergreen Speedway, Seattle, WA, Aug 11-12

Utah Motorsports Park, Grantsville, UT, Sept 14-16

Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, Oct 13-14

In addition to the schedule announcement, Formula DRIFT is celebrating its landmark 20th Anniversary in 2023 and will introduce a number of important updates to the series, which will have a significant impact on teams and fans alike.

One of the first major changes is the removal of the 37 driver cap on both the PRO and PROSPEC Championships. This will allow more teams to enter the series but makes qualifying more crucial than ever as only 32 drivers are able to compete in the head-to-head competition.

The teams that do qualify will be excited to learn that the PRO Prize Purse has been increased, with the payout per round doubled over 2022. And the 2023 PRO Champion will receive a significant $50,000 reward for their achievement.

Fans of the sport will be able to follow their favorite teams and drivers thanks to the creation of the official Formula DRIFT Podcast. Hosted by Jacob Gettins, he'll talk to leading protagonists as the season unfolds.

In a move that signifies the maturity and longevity of the series, Formula DRIFT has announced the creation of the Formula DRIFT Hall of Fame. The first inductees will be honored at the 2023 opening round in Long Beach. And each inductee will be awarded a unique FDHOF ring, which will be custom-made for the recipient, encrusted with diamonds and gemstones to a value of $10,000.

Furthermore, a Formula DRIFT monument will be erected in downtown Long Beach to commemorate the sport, and the name of each Hall of Fame inductee will be etched into the monument to preserve their part in history.

With celebrations planned for individual events and some special announcements to be made before the start of the 2023 season, the Formula DRIFT 20th Anniversary promises to be truly unforgettable.

Read full article

Historic Formula 1 Challenge Added to Race Weekend Slate!

October 21, 2022

Formula 1 will return to the streets of Long Beach when the Historic Formula 1 Challenge, featuring classic F1 machines from the 1970s and 1980s, gives race fans a double dose of nostalgia at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 14-16.  

Twin 20-minute races will run Saturday, April 15 along with the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race and Sunday, April 16, the same day as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.

Formula 1 ran for eight years in Long Beach, from 1976-83, and the “who’s who” list of winners during those years includes Mario Andretti (1977), Niki Lauda (1981), Nelson Piquet (1980), Clay Regazzoni (1976) and Gilles Villeneuve (1979). Andretti’s 1977 John Player Lotus, along with Andrea de Cesaris’ 1982 pole-winning Alfa Romeo and Keke Rosberg’s Williams FW08 are expected to be in the field, along with other famous F1 marques that include Shadow, Penske, Wolf, McLaren, March and Surtees.

The historic event at Long Beach will be sanctioned by the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA).

“We’re assembling a really great field of classic F1 cars for Long Beach,” said Cris Vandagriff, president of the HMSA. “These cars will always be a part of this event’s history and heritage and it’s going to be a pleasure to see them race twice during the weekend.”

“It’s going to be great to see these incredible machines back on the streets of Long Beach,” said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian. “For those of you who were here during those early years, it’s going to be very nostalgic and for those who weren’t, you’ll get a taste of what F1 was like back then.”

The 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will include the Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights plus doubleheader action from Robby Gordon’s SPEED/UTV Stadium Super Trucks, Porsche Carrera Cup North America and the Historic F1 Challenge.

Fans that attended the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2022 will have the opportunity to renew their ticket orders for 2023 starting Oct. 24. On Nov. 28, Acura Grand Prix tickets will go on sale to the general public.

Ticket prices range from $38 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $175 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, NTT INDYCAR SERIES Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets, and a wide variety of hospitality packages.

Fans can also follow the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook (GrandPrixLB), Twitter @GPLongBeach (#AGPLB), and Instagram @GPLongBeach.

About HMSA

The Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) is one of the most respected historic racing organizations in North America, producing world-class spectator events across the continent. HMSA emphasizes the preservation and proper use of world-class historic racecars at all of its events. For more information, please visit www.hmsausa.com.

Read full article

Tixr Joins as Official Ticketing Partner!

October 19, 2022

Santa Monica-based Tixr, a global experiential commerce leader, has signed a multi-year agreement to become the Official Ticketing Partner of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, race officials announced today.

Tixr empowers large-scale event producers with simple solutions to highly complex ticketing and ecommerce problems. Born from a fan-focused frame of mind, Tixr leverages sophisticated technology to evolve the way event creators do business and remove purchasing pain points for fans, delivering instead a positive experience from the initial ticket sale to arrival and beyond. Tixr services over 500 entertainment partners in 40 countries, including local taste-maker brands ComplexCon, Laugh Factory, VidCon, Riot Games, and LIV Golf, and has been written about in publications such as Forbes, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Spin, and Pollstar.

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach fans will now use the Tixr platform for online purchasing on mobile and desktop starting Oct. 24 with the 2023 ticket renewal period. In addition, as an official event sponsor, Tixr will receive branding around the iconic Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach racetrack in key locations as well as other amenities.

“Teaming Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach with Tixr’s modern ticketing technology and clean user-friendly purchase interface will truly help turbo charge the fan experience,” said Oriol Servia, Tixr’s Head of Racing and legendary pro Indy Car driver.

“We are excited to welcome Tixr aboard as our Official Ticketing Partner,” said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian. “We’re making technology upgrades across the board, and their state-of-the-art service will give our fans a system that affords them modern ease-of-use and more flexibility when making a purchase. Our alignment with Tixr is incorporated into a series of additional customer services including a new website and the introduction of a mobile app before our April event.”

The 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will include the Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights plus doubleheader action from Robby Gordon’s SPEED/UTV Stadium Super Trucks, Porsche Carrera Cup North America and the new-for-2023 Historic F1 Challenge.

Fans that attended the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2022 will have the opportunity to renew their ticket orders for 2023 starting Oct. 24. On Nov. 28, Acura Grand Prix tickets will go on sale to the general public.

Ticket prices range from $38 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $175 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, NTT INDYCAR SERIES Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets, and a wide variety of hospitality packages.

Fans can also follow the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook (GrandPrixLB), Twitter @GPLongBeach (#AGPLB), and Instagram @GPLongBeach.

Read full article

Acura, Meyer Shank Racing Win Final DPi Championship at Motul Petit Le Mans!

October 2, 2022

Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis needed to finish ahead of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque to win the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) drivers’ championship.

They did that and much more.

Blomqvist, Jarvis and Helio Castroneves combined to win the 25th Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, claiming the drivers’ title for Blomqvist and Jarvis and winning the team championship for Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian in the season finale Saturday for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“I’ve never dug so deep in my life,” said Blomqvist, who anchored the victory with his final stint. “I was so motivated to win this thing this weekend.”

A quick pit stop with 45 minutes left pushed the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 past the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 co-driven by Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley. As Albuquerque chased Blomqvist into Turn 2 with 14 minutes left, the No. 10 car made contact with the lapped car driven by Philip Ellis.

The contact damaged the rear suspension on the No. 10 Acura, ending its championship chances and leading to celebration for MSR.

“What a race,” Jarvis said. “It looked like we were out of it with about an hour and 20 to go. I’ve been on the receiving end where I led a few years back and had an issue and failed to be leading, so I know how it feels. They had a fantastic year, so full credit to them, but for Meyer Shank to come away with a championship is something really special.”

The pit stop turned out to be the winning move for the No. 60 car. With 51 minutes remaining, two Cadillac Racing drivers – Renger van der Zande and Earl Bamber – crashed in Turn 1. During the ensuing caution period, Albuquerque, then leading, pitted with Blomqvist on his rear wing.

Blomqvist left his pit stall in the lead.

“I had a big fuel number to hit,” Blomqvist said. “We knew that was probably our only chance. The yellow came at the right time, and obviously we had less fuel to fill up. I was able to jump him, and then it was just going gung-ho and not leaving anything on the line.”

The No. 60 came into the race trailing the No. 10 by 14 points, setting the stage for a winner-take-all situation. It ended with yet another championship for Meyer Shank Racing.

“In the last four years, we’ve had three championships for Acura, the Indy 500 win (with Castroneves in 2020), and the Rolex 24,” co-owner Michael Shank said. “It doesn’t get any better.”

The championship was the final for the DPi class, which will be replaced next season by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP). The 2023 season begins with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.

GT Daytona (GTD)

Gradient Racing put an exclamation point on a huge day for Acura by winning the GTD class of the 25th annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the season finale of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Kyffin Simpson, Till Bechtolsheimer, and Mario Farnbacher teamed up to vanquish the 15-car GTD field in the No. 66 Acura NSX GT3, holding off the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 driven by Brendan Iribe, Jordan Pepper, and Sebastian Priaulx during a tense 30-minute battle until the 10-hour race ended under caution.

Acura also claimed the overall and Daytona Prototype international (DPi) victory in the race, with Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian and drivers Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis earning the DPi season championship.

The Gradient drivers started from the back of the GTD field after a problem with a turbocharger wastegate prevented them from competing a qualifying lap. They steadily worked toward the front before dramatically seizing the lead during an exchange of green flag pit stops with a little under an hour remaining. The eighth of the race’s nine safety car periods soon followed.

Over the next 22 green flag laps, GTD leaders Farnbacher and Pepper were rarely separated by more than a second. They posted lap times within a thousandth of a second with 24 minutes to go. But Pepper was never able to get close enough to try a move, and he was denied a final opportunity when the race ended under yellow.

“After the problem we had in qualifying, the guys tore the whole car apart, made it absolutely perfect for today, and here we are,” said Farnbacher. “I’m so proud of the guys…it’s absolutely great.

“It means a lot,” he noted. “Ten years ago was my first race in the U.S., at this track. I won back then, and now, exactly 10 years later, I won again. So, there’s a really special connection to this track.”

The tension was almost unbearable for Farnbacher’s co-drivers and team.

“It was all a blur, and I was just trying not to throw up,” Bechtolsheimer remarked. “An incredible day. Kyffin was just clinical all day, and the last couple stints from Mario were out of this world. It’s huge for Gradient to get their first win in IMSA.”

After controlling the race from the middle of the sixth hour to the final 30 minutes, the Inception team was frustrated and disappointed to come home second. Pepper was mystified why the red light was lit at the pit exit following his crucial final pit stop, trapping him behind a slower Lamborghini and ultimately allowing Farnbacher past.

“Unfortunately, there were just a couple tenths between us, and the fight was on,” Pepper said. “It was quite fun, and the two of us were having our own battle. Maybe a bit of smashing between the two cars would have led to an overtake, but I don’t think that’s a fair way to race. Mario did an incredible job.”

The second-place finish did clinch the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup for the No. 70 McLaren.

“That’s the cherry on the cake, that was the goal coming into this weekend,” said Pepper. “The guys are super happy this evening, and I think we’ll be celebrating that and our podium tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Roman De Angelis, Maxime Martin, and Ian James overcame a series of challenges throughout the race in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to claim a seventh-place class finish. That was enough to secure the GTD championship for De Angelis, a 21-year-old from Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

The hurdles included an electrical issue that required a mid-race steering wheel change, and an off-course excursion at the very end when Martin was bumped by the team’s closest title competition, the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R shared by Jan Heylen, Ryan Hardwick, and Zacharie Robichon.

De Angelis ended the season with a slim 23-point edge over Heylen and Hardwick.

“A messy day, and we really fought to get back on the lead lap all day,” related De Angelis. “When the checkered flag dropped, I didn’t even know if we won it or not. Then everyone started screaming, so that was my indication that it went pretty well.

“The team did an awesome job through all the chaos and those points where we were very far from the championship,” he added. “They stayed motivated and kept fighting, and it definitely all paid off in the end.”

GTD PRO

The Vasser Sullivan crew thought the GTD PRO win was well in hand late in Saturday’s race. Until it wasn’t. And then it was.

After leading much of the 10-hour race, No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 driver Jack Hawksworth was caught in a late-race scuffle and surrendered first place to the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3. The Ferrari crossed the finish line first but was moved to the back of the class results for driver Daniel Serra exceeding the limit of driving four hours within a six-hour period.

The penalty put Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood atop the GTD PRO podium, securing the first WeatherTech Championship endurance race win for the team and Lexus as well as clinching second place in the GTD PRO standings for Barnicoat and the No. 14.

“It was just wild. I’m just so happy, this has been a long time coming for this team,” said Hawksworth, a pillar of the Lexus program who collected his ninth career win. “The guys have worked so hard for it.”

The No. 14 Lexus was leading at the final restart from caution with just more than a half-hour remaining but was pushed hard by Mathieu Jaminet in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R that clinched the season championship by starting the race. Jaminet bumped into the back of Hawksworth entering Turn 10 with 21 minutes to go, causing the Lexus to wiggle and allowing the No. 62 Ferrari and the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 a chance to pounce.

Hawksworth somehow retained the lead while the Ferrari overtook the Porsche for second place. Soon after, Serra pushed the Risi Ferrari past the Vasser Sullivan for the class lead to the finish. But the Ferrari’s joy was short-lived as Serra was cited for maximum driving infringement.

Hawksworth was still shaking his head over what transpired in the closing minutes.

“I had more contact in the last 30 minutes of that race than I think I had the whole season, probably my whole IMSA career,” he said. “(Jaminet) tried to pass me in (Turn) 10, we had contact there, and then he hit me three or four more times. God knows how the car is still in one piece.”

Barnicoat joined the team this year and was elated to help deliver the first endurance win and take second in the GTD PRO championship.

“You can see how much this means to everyone here, the whole Lexus family,” he said. “I joined them a year ago and to be able to do this at my first Petit Le Mans with them is incredible.”

With the Risi Ferrari’s demotion, the No. 25 BMW with drivers Connor De Phillippi, John Edwards and Jesse Krohn finished second and the No. 9 Pfaff Porsche shared by Jaminet, Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr took third place.

Read full article

Palou Wins INDYCAR Finale; Power Wins Second Series Title!

September 12, 2022

It wasn’t easy for either, but Will Power and Alex Palou both ended up winners Sunday after the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Power survived varying tire strategies and challenges from rivals to finish third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and clinch his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, adding to his 2014 title. The championship came just one day after Power set the INDYCAR SERIES career record with his 68th pole, breaking a tie with fellow legend Mario Andretti.

“Man, I had to drive the thing today,” Power said. “It was on the edge, very loose. Man, what a relief. What a relief to get that done.”

Power, 41, from Australia, won just one race this season, but this was his series-leading 12th top-five finish in 17 races – three more than any other driver. Power and Scott Dixon also were the only drivers to finish every lap this season.

That consistency was part of a mental shift this season by Power to take what the car offered each race and not overdrive into mistakes. The newfound, Zen-like focus proved pivotal.

“From the beginning (of the season), it was just playing the long game, not necessarily going for the big wins and all that,” Power said.

This was the 17th INDYCAR SERIES championship by a Team Penske driver, extending the team’s record. Power beat teammate Josef Newgarden to the crown by just 16 points.

Palou ended his reign as series champion with his first victory of the season in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, dominating the race and beating Newgarden to the checkered flag by 30.3812 seconds, the largest margin of victory this season by more than 24 seconds. Palou delivered a victory after a fraught summer marked by a still-unresolved contractual dispute for his driving services next season between Chip Ganassi Racing and McLaren Racing.

The win came despite a six-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change after qualifying Saturday, dropping Palou from fifth to 11th on the starting grid.

“We struggled a bit (at) some races, especially the last couple of races,” Palou said. “But today was awesome. Strategy was on point. It’s good to finish a season with a win. We had some power there and good fuel mileage.”

Palou first took the lead on Lap 16 and proved to be the dominant driver almost immediately. He led 67 of the 95 laps in a race slowed by just three caution periods.

Spaniard Palou’s gap over second-place Power was 8.6287 seconds on Lap 50, but Palou rocketed away during the second half of the race as rivals managed varying tire and pit strategies. Palou used the Firestone alternate tires only from Laps 20 to 38 and then blitzed the field for the rest of the way on Firestone primary tires on the slick, highly abrasive surface of the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit.

By Lap 62, Palou’s gap over Power was 20 seconds. It was checkout time.

“We struggled a bit during the whole weekend, and I don’t know what happened today,” said Palou, who won three races last year en route to the title. “But everything clicked. Super happy to win a race this year.”

Newgarden started the day second in the standings, 21 points behind Power, who earned a bonus point for the NTT P1 Award Saturday. He faced long odds for capturing his third championship due to starting 25th in the 26-car field after spinning off track in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet during the first round of qualifying.

But Newgarden never relented in his tenacious long shot bid to overhaul teammate Power. He started the race on Firestone primary tires – the opposite approach of title rivals Power, Dixon and Marcus Ericsson – and also made one more pit stop than Power in an attempt to use fresher tires and a full-bore fuel mixture to gain track position.

The gambit nearly worked. Newgarden exited the pits on Lap 36 on new Firestone primary tires and started inhaling rivals, especially with frightening closing speed entering the daunting “Corkscrew” turn complex.

Newgarden passed the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward for fourth on Lap 43 in the Corkscrew and then repeated that move one lap later for third place, passing the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist.

Power was next on the hit list. Newgarden sailed past his teammate on Lap 46 at the top of the Corkscrew for second place. But Power didn’t panic, again focusing on the long view while doing title arithmetic in his brain at 175 mph.

“I just knew I had to absolutely get the most out of those stints and not lose any more positions,” Power said.

Newgarden had no chance to catch Palou, who already was in a different stratosphere, up by seven seconds just four laps after a Lap 41 restart. The top three cars held station for the rest of the race, sealing the title for Power.

“Even yesterday, with the heartache there, we came back, we fought, and we nearly got there,” Newgarden said. “I’m proud of the effort. We’re going to come back stronger next year.

“But I’m proud of this team. Huge congrats to Will and the entire team.”

Six-time series champion Dixon placed third in the standings, 39 points behind Power, after his 12th-place finish in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Scott McLaughlin ended up fourth in points in just his second season of open-wheel racing after his sixth-place finish in the No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.

2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Ericsson finished his best NTT INDYCAR SERIES season fifth in points after placing ninth in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Christian Lundgaard earned series Rookie of the Year honors with his fifth-place finish in the No. 30 PeopleReady Honda. Lundgaard ended with an 18-point gap over David Malukas, who finished 13th today in the No. 18 HMD Honda.

Palou will split $10,000 with his Chip Ganassi Racing team and his chosen charity for his victory as part of the PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge.

Read full article

Newgarden Wins Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach!

April 10, 2022

Josef Newgarden, driving the Team Penske Chevrolet, won his second consecutive race of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, leading 38 laps and leading Roman Grosjean to the checkered flag by 1.28 seconds.

Defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou finished third.

Newgarden won the previous race at Texas, and the win at Long Beach was his first, and the 21st of his career. He was the runner-up at Long Beach in the past two consecutive seasons.

“It’s taken me 11 years to win a race here, so I’m so happy,” Newgarden said in Victory Circle. “I’m so proud of the efforts of the guys at Team Penske.”

Will Power finished 4th, with Pato O’Ward, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi, Helio Castroneves and rookie Kyle Kirkwood rounding out the top ten.

Polesitter and fan favorite Colton Herta, the defending Long Beach champion, led a total of 28 laps before hitting the Turn 8 wall with just 29 laps to go in the race.

Read full article

Bourdais Wins Again at Long Beach, Teams With Van der Zande to Take IWSC Race!

April 10, 2022

Cadillac Racing’s 1-2 finish in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – the third round of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – was anything but cut and dry.

“That was a little more difficult than it should have been,” admitted winning driver Sebastien Bourdais.

Bourdais, the fastest qualifier in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class and early race leader, slipped up just seven minutes into the 100-minute race while trying to lap a GTD class Porsche at the iconic hairpin of the Long Beach street course.

The wall contact was light, but Bourdais struggled to get the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing back in gear and he fell to the back of the field, 21 seconds behind his teammate Alex Lynn in the No. 02 Cadillac.

It made little difference to the 43-year-old Frenchman, who had smashed the Long Beach IMSA track record by nearly two seconds in qualifying. Bourdais required 22 laps, or a little under half an hour, to work his way past the five cars in front of him, culminating in a pass for the lead on Lynn in Turn 8.

Not only did he make up a 21-second deficit and pass five competitors, he did it while under instructions to save fuel due to a lack of telemetry data.

“You kind of go into a bit of a trance when you try to pull off something that really shouldn’t be possible,” Bourdais said, shortly after handing off the leading Cadillac to co-driver Renger van der Zande.

“You’re on fire because you’re so mad at yourself. I guess I’m accustomed to stupid mistakes and trying to make up for that. Luckily, there wasn’t much damage and I’m just glad we got the lead back.”

Van der Zande was able to maintain the lead over Earl Bamber in the No. 02 Cadillac through three full course cautions and restarts in the second half of the race. He pulled away for a 3.761-second margin of victory after completing 73 laps of the 1.968-mile Long Beach layout.

Tristian Vautier and Richard Westbrook claimed third place in the No. 5 JDC Miller MotorSports Cadillac after a furious four-car scrap in the final laps.

“I think we learned something today, which is don’t make a Frenchman angry,” said van der Zande. “He (screwed) up; he put it in the wall, but then he did well by moving up the order and he gave the car to me in the lead.

“Amazing job by Sebastien, and I just had to drive it home,” he added. “We had a fantastic car – all smiles at Chip Ganassi Racing.”

It was the first win of the 2022 season for the No. 01 team after they encountered difficulties in the opening two endurance rounds at Daytona and Sebring. Bourdais claimed his first sports car trophy at Long Beach after earning three wins in Indy cars; it was also van der Zande’s first victory on the Southern California streets.

“I’ve had some pretty awesome days on street courses,” Bourdais said. “When you have the confidence on a street course and really dig deep, you can really switch on the tires in a different way and get to a different level.

“When you get in the zone and can really challenge the course and feel under control, it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in a race car.”

GTD PRO

The Heart of Racing’s No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 may not have been the fastest GTD PRO car in today’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. But drivers Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas never put a wheel wrong and, in contrast to some of the competition, the Heart of Racing crew was flawless in the pits. As a result, Riberas took the checkered flag 1.4 seconds clear of Ben Barnicoat in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 to claim the first GTD PRO win for Aston Martin and the Heart of Racing squad.

“We had a very clean race,” said Gunn. “We just chipped away at it and made no mistakes, then this guy (Riberas) was awesome and brought it home.”

Riberas had his work cut out in the final stint, as a series of full-course cautions repeatedly negated any advantage he had been able to eke-out over the second placed Lexus.

“It’s hard not to have your rhythm disrupted with all those yellows,” said Riberas, who posted the best lap of the race for the winning car at 1 minute, 19.010 seconds. “I just had to focus on not overthinking things and get back in my rhythm on the restarts.”

Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth drove a similarly clean race and the Vasser Sullivan Racing crew executed their lone pit stop to perfection, enabling the No. 14 Lexus to come home 1.4 seconds adrift of the winners.

Things weren’t as smooth for the third place No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD. Having started from pole and led the first third of the race, Jordan Taylor brought the ‘Vette into the pits for fuel and tires on Lap 29. In a strange sequence of events during the tire change, one of the Corvette’s wheel nuts rolled into pit lane into the path of Mathieu Jaminet in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche GT3 R which was running third in class at the time. The wayward nut punctured the Porsche’s radiator, knocking the car out of the race and resulting in a drive-through penalty to the Corvette Racing entry.

GT Daytona (GTD)

Paul Miller Racing had lots of ground to make up, changing manufacturers in the offseason and not taking possession of its BMW M4 GT3 until February. It mattered not on Saturday as Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers drove the No. 1 BMW to the GT Daytona (GTD) class victory at Long Beach in the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup.

Starting from the pole position that Snow earned in qualifying on Friday, the No. 1 led throughout, surrendering the point only briefly during the pit-stop sequence midway through the 100-minute race. Sellers crossed the finish line 1.886 seconds ahead of Mario Farnbacher in the No. 66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3.

“You have to make sure you win on days like today,” said Sellers, who picked up his 13th career IMSA victory. “When they’re right in front of you, you have to win and that’s when it really comes down to everyone: the team, the drivers and everyone putting it together. That’s what I’m most proud of. You get the opportunity, and you don’t give it away because you don’t get them very often.”

It also gave PMR, Sellers and Snow a second straight Long Beach win. The 2021 triumph came in a Lamborghini Huracán GT3. Team owner Paul Miller made the move to BMW and its brand-new M4 for 2022, but it forced the team to miss the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January waiting on the new car.

A positive sign came in the No. 1 BMW’s debut last month at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, when the car led 33 early laps before being caught in an incident when another car spun. Additional confirmation came in the dominant drive to victory on Saturday, though Snow knows there’s much more knowledge yet to acquire with the BMW.

“It definitely adds confidence,” Snow said after gathering his eighth career win. “With Lamborghini, we started in 2016 so we had years of that experience. Now we’re in our second race with BMW. It’s a great car, we just will learn a lot as time goes.”

Both of the winning drivers benefitted by having a GTD PRO car between them and the rest of the GTD field throughout the race. Sellers was especially happy to see Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette between him and the hard-charging Farnbacher in the No. 66 Acura as the clock wound down.

“Mario is extremely strong,” Sellers said. “Anytime you get into the last 15 minutes of a race, he’s not a guy that you really want behind you trying to hold him off for the win, so Antonio provided us a great buffer.

“It’s our second race with BMW and I think it’s the M4’s first win in WeatherTech racing, so it’s exciting for us,” Sellers added. “I’m really proud of what we were able to do with virtually no time in the car.”

Read full article
our partners