Action Express Racing has pulled off a strategic victory in Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach, with Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa collecting their second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of the season.
Albuquerque held off a hard-charging Ryan Dalziel for the win, following green flag fuel-only stops for both cars in the second half of the 100-minute street fight.
Pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R of Felipe Nasr dominated the early stages, although full-service stops for both cars in the final hour, while under green, dropped them out of contention.
Albuquerque, in the No. 5 Cadillac DPi, enjoyed a ten-second lead prior to the third and final full-course caution, for debris, which set up a 23-minute shootout to the finish.
He crossed the line 4.766 seconds ahead of Dalziel’s No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi.
It marked the team’s second win in the last three races and sees the Rolex 24-winning pairing retake the Prototype championship lead following a challenging outing at Sebring.
Dalziel and Tequila Patron ESM co-driver Scott Sharp scored a season-best second, ahead of the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, who completed the podium in third.
It came after Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 faded late with a suspected issue, first giving way to his brother and then also to both Oliver Jarvis and Penske teammate Dane Cameron.
Taylor came home sixth, behind the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda RT24-P and the pole-sitting Acura DPi, which completed the top-five.
The No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi of Nasr and Eric Curran was seventh, after losing time shortly after its one-and-only stop with 43 minutes to go when Curran collided with the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy.
Both of the Mazda DPis, which were the first to take its final fuel-only stops, were unable to challenge, with Jonathan Bomarito ending up 9th.
The No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Stephen Simpson and Misha Goikhberg was the best-placed LMP2 car in 8th, with its sister car retiring after a loss of drive with less than 30 minutes completed.
A first-lap collision triggered by Kyle Masson also led to retirement for the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca.
Porsche Issues Give Corvette Victory in GTLM
Issues for the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs handed GT Le Mans class honors to the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.
Milner edged out the No. 67 Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe by 2.157 seconds to claim he, Gavin and the Pratt & Miller squad’s second consecutive Long Beach class win.
It came after late-race drama for for the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber, which along with co-driver Laurens Vanthoor, had controlled much of the race until the Kiwi suffered a right-front suspension issue while in the class lead with 22 minutes to go.
Porsche’s sister No. 911 entry pitted moments earlier with a tire issue, dropping it one lap behind.
The class pole-sitting No. 66 Ford of Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller completed the class podium in third, ahead of the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia, who fought back following a brief loss of power after the second restart.
The No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE, which inherited the class lead after being the only car to make a full-service stop prior to the second yellow, was one of five retirements after Alexander Sims slammed the wall with 42 minutes to go.
Sims had been running second in class at the time.
RESULTS: Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix