***The Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by The Cayman Islands paddock is uniquely set up inside the Long Beach convention center, allowing fans an up-close look at the cars and interaction with teams and drivers for this weekend’s Rounds 3 and 4 of the season.
***It includes the Cayman Islands VIP ‘Beach Club’ that features beach lounge chairs for series’ competitors to relax in between sessions.
***The 34-car field this weekend is as close to a capacity grid as possible according to Troy Bundy, One-Make and GT Sport Manager, Porsche Motorsport North America. “We tried to manage it down to this number,” he told Sportscar365.
***While a total of 43 cars took part in last month’s season-opener at Sebring International Raceway, Bundy explained that a pre-event communication on the likely use of its ‘107 percent’ rule led to some Am competitors electing to skip the event.
“That rule has always existed but we made it clear there’s a good possibility that may be enforced at street circuits like this because of the speed difference,” Bundy said. “We think that managed the field a little bit for us.”
***The second measure put in place this weekend was split qualifying, which saw separate sessions for Pro and Pro-Am/Am class competitors on Friday for the first time. However, as is the case in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, all cars have been gridded based on time within their own class.
***The idea of spilt qualifying came from Bundy, who previously served as Head of Motorsport for Porsche Cars Australia prior to taking up his new role with Porsche Motorsport North America this year.
***Long Beach is one of the first street circuits for the Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car to have run on, following its debut at Monaco in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup competition last year. The cars are also in action in this weekend’s Porsche Carrera Cup Australia round in Melbourne, in support of the Formula 1 race.
***The cars, which debuted in Carrera Cups in Asia, Germany, France and North America, as well as Supercup in 2021, have been rolled out to the majority of Porsche’s single-make series this year. Porsche has not released total production numbers but it’s understood to be in the hundreds already.
***Due to the car’s high demand globally, PMNA does not have any spare chassis on-site this weekend, although as always, has a full array of parts on its trucks.
***GMG Racing and Wright Motorsports are pulling double duty between Carrera Cup North America and the 100-minute WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race this weekend. Both teams are fielding Porsche 911 GT3 R entries in the GTD class, with GMG’s Kyle Washington the only driver competing in both series this weekend.
***Kelly-Moss driver Riley Dickinson spent Thursday visiting eight elementary schools to speak with students as part of a special Grand Prix of Long Beach outreach.
***Four drivers in the field have direct ties to California. Premier Racing’ s Adam Adelson is a graduate of the University of Southern California and lives and works in Los Angeles while TJ Fischer (Topp Racing), lives in Vacaville. Hutton McKenna lives in nearby Newport Beach and GMG’s Washington, who resides in Indio, Calif.
***It is also the home race for PMNA, which is based in Carson and home to one of two Porsche Experience Centers in the U.S. The other is housed at Porsche Cars North America’s headquarters in Atlanta.
***The Porsche 911 GT3, supplied by the Porsche Experience Center, will act as the safety car for both rounds this weekend. The naturally aspired, 4.0-liter six-cylinder boxer engine generates up to 502 horsepower and is virtually identical to the unit found in the 911 GT3 Cup race car.
***Guests 21 and older can drive the GT3 in two unique specialty programs at PECLA: the four-hour “Accelerated” program and the four-session “Academy” program. Additionally, PECLA offers several standard 90-minute programs for the GT3, including the newly launched “GT3 vs. GT4 drive experience.”
***California is the fifth largest global sales market for Porsche.
***Several changes have been to Carrera Cup North America since last year, including the reduction of race lengths from 45 to 40 minutes. The ten minutes lost in race time has been converted into additional track time in practice sessions.
***The entire field now comprises of Type-992 machinery, with the 991 Am class now known simply as “Am” and reserved for drivers 57 or older.
***The Pro-Am class, meanwhile, is earmarked for drivers between the ages of 36-56 although the series holds the right to adjust drivers’ classifications based on experience, individual performance and their FIA driver rating.
***Race 1 of the weekend gets underway today at 10:45 a.m. PT (1:45 p.m. ET), with the second 40-minute race scheduled for Sunday at 4:20 p.m. (7:20 p.m. ET) following the NTT IndyCar Series race. Both Carrera Cup rounds will be streamed live on the series’ official website and on Peacock, featuring commentary from IMSA Radio.