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Long Beach Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

***Action Express Racing claimed its third consecutive Long Beach win and Cadillac’s fourth straight in podium sweep for the manufacturer. It marked both Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr’s first triumphs on the California street circuit.

***Despite the return of GT Daytona machinery for the first time since 2017, Saturday’s 100-minute race featured only one full-course caution — for four laps — due to debris from the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R of Kevin Magnussen, who brushed the wall in Turn 1.

***Magnussen and co-driver Renger van der Zande managed to still finish second despite extensive right-side bodywork damage that also appeared to compromise the rear wing. The Dutchman said the car was “really hard to drive” with “a few parts missing” during his closing stint in the car.

***Nasr criticized Magnussen post-race for his alleged aggressive driving tactics that briefly saw the No. 01 Cadillac lead until the Dane’s contact with the wall on Lap 9.

***Meyer Shank Racing opted for an alternative strategy for the third consecutive round, in a two-stop race for its No. 60 Acura ARX-05 that did not play out yet again. An accident by Olivier Pla, who collided with the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Colin Braun and Antonio Garcia’s No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R heading into Turn 1, ended the team’s day in the closing minutes.

***Pla said: “I was working through the GT traffic and it happened really quickly. I haven’t seen a replay yet but I am just sorry for the team because we had a lot of obstacles this weekend and they just kept fighting back.”

***Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner, who along with Nick Tandy picked up their second consecutive win in GT Le Mans, said he felt this weekend’s event was the first where he “really felt the energy of the fans” since the onset of the pandemic.

***While appearing slightly down on pre-pandemic numbers, the event still saw a considerable amount of fans that turned out despite tightened COVID-19 protocols that included proof of vaccination or rapid testing to enter the facility.

***The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Mathieu Jaminet said he was hoping for a late-race yellow to bunch the GTLM field back together after losing ground to the factory Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs during Cooper MacNeil’s opening stint that lasted 40 minutes.

***With both 2020 IMSA street races canceled, Saturday’s event marked the one-and-only expected street course appearance for the Porsche 911 RSR-19 model, which will no longer be eligible in WeatherTech Championship competition starting next year due to the introduction of the GTD Pro class.

***Results from Saturday’s race remain provisional in the GT Daytona class after IMSA impounded “some GTD parts” to take to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. for further evaluation, according to an IMSA spokesperson. Final results are expected to be confirmed later this week.

***New track qualifying and race lap records were set in GTD. Laurens Vanthoor in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R set the mark in qualifying with a 1:18.957 lap while Bryan Sellers in his race-winning Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo broke the race record with a 1:20.138 lap.

***Pfaff rebounded to finish second in the race and take over the GTD points lead after working until 2 a.m. Saturday morning on a precautionary gearbox change to its Porsche, after encountering non-performance related issues all day on Friday according to team manager Steve Bortolotti.

***Turner Motorsport has dropped from first to fourth in the GTD title race after ABS failure on its No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 led to an accident by Robby Foley early on. The car was classified 16th out of the 17-car GTD field.

***Auberlen and Foley are now 150 points behind Vanthoor and Robichon in the title race heading into the penultimate GTD round of the season at Virginia International Raceway next month.

***Lamborghini is facing at least three clashing events between IMSA GTD Pro events and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS rounds in 2022, where the majority of its factory drivers currently compete in.

***It includes next year’s Long Beach round, which is on the Monza GTWC Europe weekend as well as Motul Petit Le Mans, which clashes with the Endurance Cup finale in Barcelona.

***The Italian manufacturer is currently finalizing its GTD Pro effort, with the aim to feature full-factory driver lineups.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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