Ford fastest early in Long Beach

April 13, 2018

Ford fastest early in Long Beach

April 13, 2018

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has started the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix weekend fastest thus far, after the opening two-hour practice on the. 1.968-mile streets of Long Beach.

The Long Beach race is unique on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule. It’s the only street race for the GT Le Mans class during the season, and at 100 minutes, it’s also the shortest race of the year.

This makes the morning two-hour practice significantly important, because cars need to roll off the transporters strongly. Otherwise, there is very little time to tweak on the setup to improve with only a 45-minute session to run later today before qualifying.

Even in just the opening two hours of practice, track conditions changed considerably. It was 61 degrees both ambient and on track to start the session at 8 a.m. and at 9:10 a.m. it was 73 ambient and 72 on track.

Before IMSA teams return to the track at 4:45 p.m. for second practice, several other series will lay down several other brands and types of rubber on track.

The GTLM order in this practice settled out as a “Noah’s Ark” style lineup.

The two Ford GTs were fastest, with Ryan Briscoe setting a best lap of 1:17.898 in the No. 67 car. Joey Hand was second at 1:17.993 in the No. 66 car.

The two Porsches were next, followed by the two Corvettes and two BMWs.

Cadillac led overall with the two Action Express Racing entries. The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Felipe Nasr posted the fastest time at 1:13.582, ahead of teammate Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac.

Second practice runs from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. PT and local time, with GTLM qualifying at 5:55 p.m. PT.

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Long Beach race recap

Monday April 16, 2018