Taylor Racing takes Long Beach TUDOR Championship race

Polesitting Corvette edged out Ganassi EcoBoost Ford

Taylor Racing takes Long Beach TUDOR Championship race
#01 Chip Ganassi Ford/Riley: Scott Pruett, Joey Hand
#01 Chip Ganassi Ford/Riley: Scott Pruett, Joey Hand
#01 Chip Ganassi Ford/Riley: Scott Pruett, Joey Hand
#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner
#25 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner
#31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Eric Curran, Dane Cameron
#5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner
#01 Chip Ganassi Ford/Riley: Scott Pruett, Joey Hand

LONG BEACH, California – One of the appealing aspects of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series is the variety of the races – the season opener was the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, followed by the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, then the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on the tight Long Beach seaside stret course.

The Long Beach race is 100 minutes long. Using that metric, Daytona is 1,440 minutes, Sebring 720 minutes – three races, three massive differences in length.

Does that make a lot of difference?

Apparently not, as cream rises to the top, no matter if it takes 100 or 1,400 minutes. The overall winner, the No. 10 Konica Minolta Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype of Wayne Taylor Racing, driven by Taylor’s two sons, Ricky and Jordan, has been strong all year but hasn’t managed a victory.

The weekend started well for the team, though, as Ricky Taylor qualified the car on the pole, his first pole since the TUDOR Championship debuted in January, 2014.

It was a welcome redemption for the No. 10 Corvette, which suffered a penalty for a violation of driver’s time behind the wheel and was dropped to a 52nd-place finish in the 53-car field. The team rallied back to a second-place finish at Sebring.

Second at Long Beach was the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost Daytona Prototype of Scott Pruett and Joey Hand, the defending winners of the event. Third was the Corvette Daytona Prototype of VisitFlorida.com Racing car driven by Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante.

Fourth was the Action Express Whelen No. 31 Corvette DP, followed by its team Corvette, which was limping with powertrain issues – that car was second at Daytona and first at Sebring, so fifth has to count as a disappointment.

GT-Le Mans to BMW

In GT-Le Mans, the victory almost went to the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia of Pierre Kaffer and Giancarlo Fisichella, especially impressive since Fisichella, in a rare mistake, brushed the tire wall Friday at the end of a practice session, damaging the Ferrari’s left side.

The team managed to repair the car well enough for Fisichella qualify the car in third less than 30 minutes later, and obviously fixed it even more comprehensively before the race, as it took the lead a hundred yards past the green flag from polesitter Bill Auberlen in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE and the second-place car, the No. 24 team BMW driven by John Edwards.

With just over 12 minutes left, though, the No. 25 BMW, driven by Dirk Werner, passed the No. 62 Ferrari, driven by Fisichella’s teammate, Pierre Kaffer, when Kaffer’s tires appeared to wear to the point where the Ferrari’s lap times were slowing substantially.

Meanwhile, Lucas Luhr, driving the No. 24 BMW, was charging into third place when he missed a turn, dropping several positions to fifth in class. Third was the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. The GTLM class-winning No. 25 BMW of Auberlen and Werner was seventh overall.

The race was surprisingly carnage-free, given the tight quarters. On the first lap, the only major event had the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR GT-Le Mans car driven by Richard Lietz squeezed into the wall by the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R GTLM driven by Olivier Gavin, requiring major work to the Porsche’s right front wheel unit. The No. 4 finished 14th overall.

It essentially took the No. 912 out of contention, finishing 16th of the 17 entries – last place was unfortunately claimed by the Claro/TracPhone DeltaWing, which was making its street course debut, as the car has only raced before on larger, wider road courses. The DeltaWing retired less than a third of the way in with transmission issues.

The Long Beach race will air Sunday on Fox Sports 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. ET.

Next up: The (160-minute) Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Presented by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca May 2-3.

shares
comments
Action Express Racing Corvettes qualify third and fifth for Sports Car Showcase
Previous article

Action Express Racing Corvettes qualify third and fifth for Sports Car Showcase

Next article

Risi Competizione captures back-to-back podium finishes

Risi Competizione captures back-to-back podium finishes
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020