***Twenty two cars will take the start of Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge race in Long Beach after Bentley Team Absolute elected to withdraw Adderly Fong’s Bentley Continental GT3 due to damage from a practice crash.
***The No. 61 R. Ferri Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alex Riberas also suffered some damage in the morning running after making contact with a tire barrier. The right-side mirror was shorn off and other bodywork was in need of repairs, but the team indicated there was no structural damage to their Prancing Horse.
***DIME Racing elected to skip the final practice session and the risk of the treacherous wet-but-drying track conditions but did turn out for qualifying. Jonathan Summerton will start the team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in 15th.
***Thieves made off with over $100,000 worth of equipment and supplies from the nearby GMG Racing shop in the build up to the Long Beach weekend. Parts for the team’s Porsche GT3 R and McLaren 570S GT4 machines were taken along with televisions, stereos, and other electronics according to the team, although their ability to compete this weekend was not seriously compromised.
***With the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship sharing the Long Beach weekend with PWC, it provides an interesting comparison between the times GT3 machinery in each series. Even accounting for differences in tires, BoP, and track conditions the times have been very close.
***Using the PWC GT and IMSA GTD pole speeds as an example, Alvaro Parente’s PWC track-record lap of 1:18.883 was only marginally quicker than Bryan Sellers’ GTD pole lap of 1:19.243.
***The similarity has come as something of a surprise to many observers, including RealTime Racing Acura driver Ryan Eversley. “We were definitely a bit surprised,” he told Sportscar365, but he did offer one possible explanation for the Acuras, which race in both series. “For our Acuras, the different series mandate different gear ratios. That, and BoP, may help explain it.”
***After starring in the rain in Daytona to open the IMSA season, the Acuras again looked strong in wet conditions during Practice 2 at the hands of Eversley and teammate Peter Kox who were 1-2 on the time sheets for some time. In dry conditions, the pair qualified 10th and 14th for Sunday’s race.
***Same-day television coverage of the third round of the World Challenge season is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT tomorrow on CBS Sports Network.