The 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach returns to its normal springtime calendar date (after being last year’s season finale in September) on April 8-10. In this week’s blog we’ll take a look at the support races during the weekend.
Highlighting the Saturday action will be the stars and cars of the IMSA WeatherTech Series. After two races and 36 hours of endurance competition, it’s all about the sprint at Long Beach – 100 minutes to be exact. Acura finished one, two at the Rolex 24hrs of Daytona and Cadillac swept the podium at the Sebring 12hrs. Acura will want to win their “home” race at Long Beach and the track record is held by Helio Castroneves in an Acura. However it was Cadillac that brought home the victory here last year. Top drivers from around the world will fight hard for victory in one of the marquee events of the season.
GTD Pro is a new class taking over for GTLM this year. The cars are the same spec as the GTD class but feature pro drivers only. Keep in mind that the GTD cars typically employ one pro driver to be paired with an amateur driver so navigating traffic will be key in qualifying and the race. These two classes will provide the majority of entries for the IMSA race.
For those that yearn for the good old days of IMSA GTP, you’re in luck as the Porsche 962s and many more cool cars of yesteryear will have their own show to put on during the Historic IMSA GTP Challenge with two races over the weekend on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Sports cars are all the rage this weekend with the Porsche Carrera Cup Series making their Long Beach debut. These are all spec Porsche 911GT3 Cup race cars and since they are identical in build, should put on a great show on Saturday morning and closing out the weekend on Sunday afternoon. Over 30 cars are expected to take part in the racing action.
Of course Robby Gordon’s Speed Energy Stadium SUPER Truck Series always thrills the fans with their high flying act over the temporary ramp jumps installed around the track. These trucks grab big air time but are equally adept at “bicycling” around the track on two wheels. Their massive suspension travel allows them to really take advantage of using the curbs to cut the corners even further for a better lap time. The racing is superb too as “reverse aerodynamics” help the trucks in the back to have an aero advantage over the trucks in front. Don’t miss these truck races on Saturday and Sunday afternoon!
Not to be left out is the Super Drift Challenge. These high-horsepower cars with extreme steering angles will amaze anyone who sees how fast and how loose cars can get while producing billowing clouds of tire smoke as they race their way around the Turn 9 – Turn 11 complex. It’s almost like synchronized mayhem as the cars are released from Seaside Way to “pair up” with each other in the sideways sliding action. Friday night and Saturday night will thrill one and all with the loud and extreme party atmosphere of these incredible machines and drivers.
For a complete weekend schedule, visit: https://gplb.com/weekend-schedule/
By Larry Mason
Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason
Will Acura win during the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend or will Cadillac spoil the homecoming?
Robby Gordon’s Speed Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks are a high-fly act and fan favorite.
Photos by Larry Mason