Juan Pablo Montoya’s first Champ Car victory came on the streets of Long Beach back in 1999.
Helio Castroneves won here in the 2001 Champ Car race, and also won the Indy Lights race at Long Beach in 1997.
But neither one of the Acura Team Penske teammates have yet won the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach in a sports car. They’re looking to change that this weekend.
Montoya will share the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 with Cameron, while Castroneves is co-driving the No. 7 Acura DPi with Ricky Taylor.
Both Montoya and Castroneves were inducted into the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach’s Motorsports Walk of Fame last year (pictured above).
“I am so excited to be back in Long Beach,” said Castroneves.
“This place is about tradition. I’ve been very fortunate to win in IndyCar.
“I wasn’t able to win in a sports car last year, but now we are really excited because Acura is the main sponsor of the race and we’d love to combine not only great performance, but a victory as well.”
Montoya won the Motul Pole Award in qualifying here last year and acknowledged that racing the sports car is quite a bit different at Long Beach.
“There’s been races this year where you drive for 15 minutes and a caution comes out and you do a driver change,” Montoya said.
“Or you don’t get a caution and you drive for an hour and a half and the other guy drives for 20 minutes. It’s a little different.
“The way we look at it, the guy who qualifies, his focus is to get the car in the best possible position and the other guy is closing. We will keep swapping all year.
“We are pretty comparable, there are tracks where I do a better job than him, and there are tracks that are the other way around.”