Racing Blip: 2014 Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix

By | May 4, 2014

ESM HPD ARX-03b - on it's way to pole.

ESM HPD ARX-03b – on it’s way to pole.

The fourth stop of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship hits the California central coast town of Monterey this weekend. Which is home to one of the more iconic race tracks in the world, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – best known for “The Corkscrew”.

Now, Laguna Seca has been around since the late 50’s. TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is in it’s first year from the merger of Grand-Am and American Le Mans Series. Creating a series with some 50+ race cars. Needless to say, when designing Laguna Seca, I doubt many were thinking of having so many cars in pit lane at one time. As such, there are TWO races today.

First up, GTD and PC classes. Basically all the Pro-Am teams battling it out. Race No. 1 starts at 10am PT / 1pm ET on FOX Sports 1. The next race will feature all the “pro” teams – Prototypes and GT LeMans classes. Race No. 2 starts at 2:30pm PT / 5:30 ET.

What to watch for:

* In Prototypes, the top 4 in qualifying, 3 are P2 cars. Including the Morgan-Nissan of OAK Racing. Coming into Laguna, IMSA issued a “Balance of Performance” for the DP cars, essentially slowing them down some more. Extreme Speed Motorsport’s driving duo of Brown/van Overbeek took the pole yesterday in their HPD ARX-03b P2 car. If the BoP has done it’s job, expect some very close racing from 2 very differently designed race cars.

* In GTLM, still some of the best racing out there. 0.39 secs separate the top 3 cars in class. Corvette, BMW, Porsche. Racing duo, Magnussen/Garcia drove the No. 3 Corvette Racing C7.R brought home the honors yesterday.

How to Watch…

If you have FOX Sports 1, both 2 hour races will be aired there. Those of you that prefer streaming, it appears that will only stream the second race, starting at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET.

[photo | Mike Gillilan]

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