#TBT Long Beach post-race notebook

April 18, 2019

#TBT Long Beach post-race notebook

April 18, 2019

With only 19 cars in two classes, Saturday’s BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix may be the smallest field of the year for Michelin to support in IMSA this year. But that didn’t mean the 100-minute race at Long Beach was short on action.

Here’s additional post-race notebooks from Daytona and Sebring.

DPi
Acura Team Penske soaks winning co-driver Filipe Albuquerque on podium. Photo: Michelin North America
  • As noted in the Michelin post-race release, each of the top three DPi cars finished on different tire strategies. The winning No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R pitted earliest and only took a right front tire on its final stop with 40 minutes to go. Then the two Acura Team Penske ARX-05s split their strategy. The No. 7 car took rear tires only, and the No. 6 car took left side tires only.
  • Cadillac has repeated its three-for-three season start it also did in 2017, and also won its third straight Long Beach race.
  • Cadillac led 60 of the 73 race laps (82.19 percent) on Saturday, spread among the No. 31 Whelen Engineering (17 laps), No. 50 Juncos (14) and No. 5 Mustang Sampling (29) cars.
  • This extends Cadillac’s lap leading domination through three 2019 races to 752 laps led out of 1014 racing laps, or 74.16 percent.
  • Race winners Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa’s win at Long Beach was their first since 2018 at the same venue, 12 months ago.
  • Acura Team Penske’s double podium of second and third place was its first double podium since IMSA’s most recent street race, Belle Isle Park last June.
  • The No. 77 Mazda (fourth place), No. 84-JDC Miller Cadillac (fifth) and No. 50 Juncos Cadillac (seventh) recorded season-best results in DPi. Mazda’s fourth came after leading six laps and contending for a podium, before losing out on the final pit stop sequence.
  • After two tough races, Juncos had its best race yet in DPi. Kyle Kaiser led 14 laps on an off-sequence strategy. The team looked set to finish sixth until co-driver Will Owen went off course at Turn 8 in the final eight minutes, before resuming.
  • Just four points cover the top four pairs of drivers after this race. These include the Nos. 31, 5 and 10 Cadillac teams and No. 7 Acura team.
GTLM
Porsche’s winners with Corvette Racing teammates joining them on podium. Photo: Michelin North America
  • Porsche’s off to a great 2019 start. After taking over from Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber made passes of both his teammate Patrick Pilet, then the leading Ford of Dirk Mueller. Bamber hung on despite a broken diffuser to secure his and Vanthoor’s first win since Mid-Ohio, 2018.
  • Porsche GT Team now has three GTLM poles, two GTLM wins and both the driver and manufacturer championship leads heading to Mid-Ohio.
  • Corvette’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen scored their second straight podium and are within four points of Vanthoor and Bamber. Garcia and Magnussen are tied with Pilet and Nick Tandy for second in points.
  • After two tough races, the second Corvette of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin scored their first 2019 podium in third. They advanced a spot on the last lap after Magnussen contacted a slowing Mueller, who was running short on fuel.
  • Mueller and fill-in co-driver Sebastien Bourdais nearly played the strategic game to perfection. Bourdais pitted the No. 66 Ford GT before a caution and handed the car off to Mueller. But the car was about one lap short on fuel. Bourdais filled in for Joey Hand, who was ill. This meant the Frenchman raced in both IMSA and the NTT IndyCar Series race.

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