Racing Blip: 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

By | April 18, 2015

Olivier BerattaThe annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach offers a plethora of racing series all in one place in one weekend.  The two we are most interested in is IMSA/Tudor as covered by Mike Gillilan yesterday, and the the Pirelli World Challenge.  This race weekend marks the 5th round for the series and like IMSA will only feature half of the series; the GT/GTA/GT Cup classes.

With such a tight course, we should see plenty of action similar to the last round held at St Pete.  Those 50 minutes of racing provided plenty of thrills and spills for the spectators.

Qualifying was held this morning and the result was almost predicable with the points leaders in each of the three classes ending up on pole.  Olivier Beretta in his Ferrari held of Robert Thorne for pole with a fastest lap of 1:19.313.  Rookie and GTA points leader Michael Lewis took pole with a lap time of 1:20.162 in a Porsche.  And in GT Cup Colin Thompson ran a 1:23.831.

Things to watch this weekend is the close points race in the GT class with Beretta and Ryan Dalziel only 3 points apart.  Tim Pappas of Black Swan Racing switches out his Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 for an all new Viper GT3R after a crash that put him out of the race in St Pete during the last round.  Also look for Peter Cunningham to look for his first win in the Acura TLX-GT.  Cunningham had the fastest lap in practice yesterday.

Round 5 takes place tomorrow at 6:30pm EST and can be streamed live here.  The race will be rebroadcast on CBS Sports Network next Sunday at 3:30pm.  After which it will be available at the same link above after the CBS Sports Network broadcast.

A spotters guide for the race weekend can be found here.

Photo: PWC

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