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Long Beach Post-Race Notebook

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

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

***Cadillac maintained its undefeated streak of wins in the DPi era of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach by sweeping the podium in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, with Chip Ganassi Racing earning its 62nd career IMSA victory. 

***Richard Westbrook gave JDC-Miller Motorsports a last-gasp podium finish, courtesy of a coming together between Pipo Derani and Tom Blomqvist in the Hairpin in the closing minutes. “When Pipo made the move on the 60 at the end, you have to be there to pick up those opportunities,” said Westbrook. “I’m really proud of the team and they deserve this one.”

***While losing the DPi points lead to the No. 02 CGR pairing of Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, JDC’s Westbrook and co-driver Tristan Vautier are the only drivers to have finished on the podium in all three races so far this season. Bamber and Lynn hold a scant three-point lead.

***Tristan Nunez thought he ha a “much bigger failure” when his No. 31 Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R ground to a halt in the Turn 1 run-off on his first flying lap during the race. “It ended up being something pretty silly,” he said. “It was the master switch that must have gotten knocked from a bump going down the front straightaway, which threw me whirl because my hands were on the steering wheel and nothing really changed. It took a little trouble shooting to figure it out.”

***The series of late-race cautions put the Whelen-sponsored Cadillac back into contention until Derani’s incident with Blomqvist while fighting for the final podium position.

***A two-stop strategy for the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05, which saw Filipe Albuquerque pit on Lap 14 for fuel and rear Michelin tires only, did not fully pan out due to nearly hour-long stretch of green flag running that saw the team pit twice under green. Albuquerque and co-driver Ricky Taylor finished sixth overall and in the DPi class.

***The No. 25 Team RLL BMW M4 GT3 of Connor De Phillippi and John Edwards was moved to the rear of the GTD Pro class finishing order due to a drive-time infraction for Edwards, who missed the minimum 35 minutes by a mere 18 seconds. The car had initially finished fourth in class after overcoming a drive-through penalty for De Phillippi assisting with a dislodged door during the fateful pit stop.

***BMW teams were understood to have been provided with a revised turbo boost table by the German manufacturer after two of the three M4 GT3s were found by IMSA to have exceeded maximum engine speed in qualifying. Sportscar365 understands that specific shifting patterns contributed to De Phillippi and Robby Foley slightly exceeding the 7000 RPM maximum as outlined in IMSA’s Balance of Performance table.

***Click Here for the revised provisional results.

***The post-race adjustment narrowed Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia’s points lead to 30 points over Pfaff Motorsports’ Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell, who have now since scored fifth place points despite failing to finish the race due to Corvette Racing’s freak wheel nut incident that punctured the its Porsche 911 GT3 R’s radiator while in pit lane.

***Jack Hawksworth said he and Vasser Sullivan co-driver Ben Barnicoat ended up with a “surprise podium” after benefiting from the misfortunes of the Corvette and Pfaff entries in the race. With the team’s sister No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 of Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo finishing third in GTD, it marked the first double-podium finish for a team spread across GTD Pro and GTD.

***The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Raffaele Marciello was forced to serve a late-race drive-through penalty for incident responsibility with the GTD class No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche of Jan Heylen after contact in the Hairpin.

***It was one of several late-race incidents to affect the GTD finishing order, including an accident for Ryan Eversley in the debuting Rick Ware Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 that found the Turn 8 tire barriers while running fourth in class at the time. 

***The No. 59 Crucial Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3, which ran inside the top-three in the hands of Jon Miller, retired after losing its alternator belt shortly after its pit stop. Team owner/driver Paul Holton told Sportscar365 that the car ran too low on its battery towards the end of the first full-course caution.

***Inception Racing’s Frederik Schandorff posted the quickest race lap in GTD, a 1:18.642, which broke the previous record held by Bryan Sellers from last year.

***Sellers and Paul Miller Racing co-driver Madison Snow hold an early lead in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup points standings, despite Snow not caring about the championship-within-a-championship in the series. “I still thing IMSA has too many championships,” Snow said in the post-race press conference. “The only one that matters is the main championship and we’re not going for that one as we didn’t race Daytona.” 

***Longtime Honda motorsports communications manager T.E. McHale, who passed away late last year, was honored in being the recipient of the Alan Wolfe Grand Prix Spirit Award for this year, in a ceremony held in the Long Beach media center on Saturday morning.

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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