***The No. 1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b of Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel, who celebrates his birthday today, will roll off from eighth on the grid, despite the Scot losing his fastest lap in qualifying due to bringing out a red flag. The car suffered a transmission component failure during Dalziel’s qualifying run.
***While some teams have been able to run the entire race on a single set of tires, the chances of that repeating, both in the Prototype and GTLM classes, are unlikely, due to the new pit stop procedures which allow refueling during tire changes. P class teams will again use Continental Blacks, designated for the natural terrain road courses and street circuits.
***HPD will be searching for its fifth overall win in the last six years at Long Beach, following wins by de Ferran Motorsports’ Acura ARX-02a (2009), Highcroft Racing’s HPD ARX-01c (2010) and Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s HPD ARX-03a in 2012-13. Extreme Speed Motorsports claimed P2 class victory here last year with its HPD ARX-03b of Guy Cosmo and Scott Sharp.
***With Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s withdrawal, pole-sitters Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Pruett are the only team and driver with an overall IMSA win to their credit at Long Beach, having won the Rolex Sports Car Series event here in 2006.
***Gil de Ferran has taken an expanded role within HPD to become a consultant for all of the company’s motorsports activities. The 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner was brought on board last year as a technical consultant to its IndyCar program.
***Patrick Dempsey will contest the Hockenheim round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on July 21, piloting a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car as part of the German manufacturer’s VIP program. The Hollywood actor/racer took part in a initial test this week.
***Today’s 21-car field is the smallest at Long Beach since 2009, when it was exactly the same number spread over the LMP1, LMP2, GT1 and GT2 classes.
***Be sure to download the IMSA Viewing Guide for Long Beach, which features all 21 starters in today’s race. Designed by Andy Blackmore, it’s the perfect resource for keeping track of driver, team and livery details. Click Here to view.