The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to live, broadcast television this Saturday at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) as FOX will have flag-to-flag coverage of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach.
The 100-minute race will feature the WeatherTech Championship Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes battling wheel-to-wheel for class and overall honors on the legendary, 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit located in the heart of Southern California’s car culture.
“With an unprecedented field of Prototype cars and factory-backed GTLM machines, we expect no shortage of excitement for fans tuning into the FOX telecast of the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach,” said David Pettit, IMSA vice president, marketing.
“This Saturday’s field includes the world’s best sports car racing teams and drivers and eight world-class automotive manufacturers, each with a strong opportunity to take the victory. This FOX telecast will further expose our sport to a wider audience and they will be pleased by what they see – it may sound cliché but it’s going to be a street fight.”
The Prototype field features 2017 championship-winning drivers Jordan and Ricky Taylor, who each will be looking for their fourth consecutive Long Beach victory, but this year driving separate cars. Jordan Taylor remains in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R for his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing team with a new co-driver in Dutchman Renger van der Zande.
Ricky Taylor, meanwhile, has moved to the new-for-2018 Acura Team Penske program, sharing the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi with three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who is now a full-time WeatherTech Championship driver.
The field also includes another multi-time Indy 500 winner, Juan Pablo Montoya, in a separate Acura Team Penske entry, along with stalwart teams such as Action Express Racing, Tequila Patrón ESM, Mazda Team Joest and many more.
Leading the charge in the GTLM class is Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and its pair of talented co-drivers, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford GT, one of two entries for the vaunted Ganassi program.
Other top competitors in GTLM this weekend are two entries each from Corvette Racing, Porsche and BMW. Each of those manufacturers has won at Long Beach over the past three years.
The two-hour FOX telecast will feature Brian Till, Calvin Fish and Tommy Kendall calling the action from the booth, with Jamie Howe and Justin Bell reporting from pit lane. The live coverage also will include 10 onboard cameras.
“Long Beach is a special place; the home of street racing in the US since 1975,” said Frank Wilson, FOX Sports VP Production. “This weekend we will have Corvettes, Ford GTs, Porsche 911s and BMWs racing one another along with the IMSA Prototypes, adding to the legacy of this iconic venue.”