Pruett Leads DP Sweep in Opening Practice at Long Beach

Photo: Darren Pierson

Photo: Darren Pierson

A late flyer by Scott Pruett made it a Ford 1-2 in the opening practice for Saturday’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach.

The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford led the way, with Pruett laying down a 1:16.441 lap time in the final moments of the two-hour session.

He outran out the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford of Ozz Negri by 0.240 seconds, with Joao Barbosa’s No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP third on the overall time sheets.

DP-based machinery dominated the session, sweeping the top five positions. The quickest non-DP was the No. 42 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan of Gustavo Yacaman, who reeled off a 1:17.382 lap time, but nearly one second slower than Pruett’s best time.

The two Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03bs wound up seventh and eighth, with only the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette DP and the pair of Mazda P2 cars slower.

Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin was quickest in the GTLM class, thanks to the Englishman’s 1:19.797 in his No. 4 Corvette C7.R.

Gavin edged out the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE of defending race winner Bill Auberlen by 0.027 seconds, with Dirk Mueller’s sister BMW slotting in third quickest.

It was a session to forget for the Daytona and Sebring class-winning Porsche North America squad. The No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR completed only three laps after suffering engine issues, while Nick Tandy stopped on track with a vibration, which brought out the second and final red flag.

The first red was for the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP of Michael Valiante, who stopped in Turn 1.. The car quickly returned to action.

A second 30-minute practice session is on tap for 5:05 p.m. PT, just prior to qualifying.

RESULTS: Practice 1

24 Comments

  1. Scott

    April 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I was really hoping to see the P2s in the lead here. Hopefully they can pull something out for qualifying.

  2. JAGLeMans

    April 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Last chance saloon for P2 hopes this year. They were expected (before seeing a race this year) to dominate Long Beach……

  3. Adrian

    April 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Shocker! -.- If the P2 cars can’t do anything at Long Beach, they’re basically without hope for the rest of the season. They should be dominating here. SHOULD being the important word here. They should call it the TUDOR DP Championship. Also, 20 car field? Embarrassment.

    • Doug

      April 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Well, I actually like a smaller field on street races. Less chances of crashes.

    • Jaguar4

      April 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Why is it am embarrassment? There are only 2 classes competing this weekend? Also keep in mind this just session 1 and IMSA could adjust things for the next round.

    • Hedgey

      April 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Not an embarrassment at all. IF the amateur classes had been at Long Beach too THEN it would have been an embarrassment. Might as well have just set fire to all the cars in the paddock and get it over with quicker.

  4. JH

    April 11, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Well so much for a chance a p2 with a chance at winning. In Daytona and Sebring the team that dominated practice won the race and long beach is looking no different. This isn’t looking remotely like a combined ALMS/Grand Am championship. Its basically turning into Grand-Am 2.0.

    • Jaguar4

      April 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Stop with with the Conspiracy theories! If IMSA really wanted to make it Grand-Am 2.0, why would they include the ACO spec cars to begin with? It would save the series, time, money and headaches if the did that. I just got get why people are freaking out? Everyone, just needs to take a chill pill and see how it pans out.

      • HJ

        April 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        Wow seems like your the one that needs a chill pill. TUSC should be have nboth P2 and DP on equal terms. Three races in and the DPS are still ahead. Daytona was a given for them sebring was the test and they won now on a track that should favor P2s they are over a second off the pace, this is not a combined series. And as to why they would include ACO cars that is to give the appearance of caring about international competition but forcing those cars to run on a spec tire that no team at le mans would touch is showing no interest in competition outside the US. You can choose not to see it if you want to but this has happened before and until teams stand up and say enough this will be a five class series as opposed to a four.

        • Bakkster

          April 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm

          I’m not sure why Long Beach would be more in favor of the P2s than Sebring. The bumps there meant the P2 third spring was their great advantage. With so many slow corners, the P2s won’t have many chances to flex their downforce. Need sweepers and esses to see the P2s with a distinct advantage, I bet.

          Still only the third race, if it isn’t balanced by the end of the season (or all the P2s leave before that) then we have a problem.

    • Bakkster

      April 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Don’t write anything off too soon. It’s only the first practice.

      ESM was 1.5-2s off the pace in the opening Sebring practices, then they set the new P2 race lap record and finished second which is generally agreed to be because of the caution rather than pace.

      If you think the balance is hopeless, you’re not paying attention.

      • HJ

        April 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

        Im paying plenty of attention and its not there. Tires on a P2 that takes two more laps to come up to temp than a DP, the DP with over 100 more HP, all the aero in the world wont make up for a guy being able to put ten car lengths on you on the straight. They are supposed to be equal competitors, if one is blatantly favored by officials over the other thats not good for sportscar racing in the US.

        • Kirk

          April 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

          I agree. My hope at the beginning of the year would be the DP’s being fast at the high speed tracks with the P2s being best on the tight, twisty tracks. Then Long Beach P1 concludes and it’s a DP sweep. I wonder how much longer the teams like Oak and ESM will continue to race if they’re always going to be playing second fiddle to the DP’s. It won’t be long before IMSACAR gets what it wants and all the P2 teams leave so all we’re left with is just another Grand-Am. Yawn.

        • Bakkster

          April 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

          And if the race goes green the P2s will do both stints on a single set of tires and be at an advantage.

          You really think the DPs can pull 10 car lengths? Top speeds are less than 4MPH apart between the chassis.

          It’s possible the P2s are still underpowered, I think it’s ridiculous to expect that won’t be fixed if it turns out to be the case.

  5. Mark

    April 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Yawn… In other news outdated “Racing Prototypes” somehow are faster than the P2 class again, wow shocker.

  6. Jack

    April 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    last years pole time was a 1.16.0, dp’s are going to be qualifying around the 1.15.0’s, dp’s will always have an advantage on low fuel and new tires

  7. K T

    April 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    A top 5 DP sweep. What a big surprise! No wonder Pickett/Muscle Milk
    are taking a break. They won’t be the last P2 team to see the hand writing on the wall.

    • Dan

      April 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      If Greg Pickett had a hair on his @$$ he wouldn’t have brought a knife to a gun fight ! Now, he whines and sulks away. He had a DP when GA started, but let after getting smoked, to go to a series with no competition! What a poser! He was OK way back when. Now? Not so much.

      Scott Tucker is merely getting his house in order as he prepares for his escape to Ecuador to avoid prosecution.

      The others running P2 will work hard and compete, like racers ! And no doubt will get consideration from the ALMS people who run IMSA :)

  8. Ben

    April 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I really wonder sometimes if IMSA even realizes how much hate there is toward they ugly tube framed DP’s. Sure the P class fields are large at the moment but it’s a huge disgrace for the sport. If they want more European teams like OAK to stay, they really need to get rid of the manditory Continental tires and actually give the P2’s a chance for speed AND throw out the rigged officiating.

    You don’t have to agree with me, I’m just angry about bad of a first impression this series has made on me…

    • Tucker

      April 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      I agree 100% with Ben and KT. Muscle MIlk is taking a sabbatical, Scott Tucker’s car are gone and Alex Job is not happy either. This is nascrap at its best. Teams aren’t allowed to run real tires, the BOP is getting worse not better. At this rate it will be just GrandAm all over… a GIANT step back for endurance racing in this country.

      • Bakkster

        April 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm

        Sorry, but how did the BoP get worse when it didn’t change?

  9. powderedtoast

    April 11, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    While certainly disappointing, keep in mind that the fastest P2 car (No. 42) completed a whopping 63 laps — more than any other car in the P class. Perhaps they were focusing on long runs with full fuel tanks rather than treating the practice session like a qualifying simulation?

    • Jenner

      April 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Stop watches don’t lie. It doesn’t look good for the P2’s here in the US. I’m giving them until the checkers at Laguna to make my final judgement.

      I’m hoping and praying things will equal out really fast. Pretty sad what I’m seeing so far this year.

  10. Ralph

    April 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Getting really tired of seeing DPs out front…. Come on imsa….

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