2015 Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase At Long Beach
Apart from Pirelli World Challenge and IndyCar series, Long Beach Street Circuit hosted cars from Prototype and GT Le Mans classes from Tudor-backed United SportsCar Challenge. The 1 hour 40 minutes long race started with a rolling start at 7:05 ET under ideal conditions. Ricky Taylor in a Corvette DP and Scott Pruett in an Ecoboost Ford Riley DP started battling at once, so did Bill Auberlen and Giancarlo Fisichella in GTLM class.
Early on into the race, Oliver Gavin and Richard Lietz collided in Turn 1. While trying to pass Gavin’s Corvette C7.R, Richard Lietz’s Porsche was pushed onto the concrete barrier and ended up with a flat tire. Lietz had to go to the pits, ultimately quitting the session. On the other hand Gavin continued on position six suffering only minor damage and a cut tire. Upon exiting the pits, Oliver Gavin went to 7th place. Ten minutes into the race, Fisichella was still in the lead, still closely followed by Abuerlen. In P class Ricky Taylor was also in the lead, followed by Pruett. Meanwhile, the DeltaWing got stuck in the pits as well.
After a hasty and nail biting pit stop, Jan Magnussen emerged as the GTLM leader, followed by Fisichella. After his Corvette went out of the pits, he managed to hold onto his lead for a short amount of time, because Pierre Kaffer, Fisichella’s substitute driver got to first. Wayne Taylor Racing’s Prototype had to pit, leaving Pruett in the lead. Scott Pruett went through the pits and stopped for a change in the next lap. Pruett’s substitute driver Joey Hand stalled the engine, losing the lead from Eric Curran. Jordan Taylor regained the lead for Wayne Taylor Racing with around 43 minutes to go.
While Pierre Kaffer had a big lead over the GTLM pack, there was constant battle between Corvette Racing’s Corvette driven by Antonio Garcia and BMWs for the second and third in the class. Garcia eventually gave way to BMWs driven by Dirk Werner and Lucas Luhr and went to fourth. Entering the last half an hour, Wayne Taylor Racing was still leading in Prototype class and was being driven by Jordan Taylor. Dirk Werner was cutting Kaffer’s lead from lap to lap, and so did Joey Hand on Taylor. With around 11 minutes to go, Kaffer couldn’t hold off Werner who overtook him in a great side to side battle resulting in an overtake in a turn. Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia managed to go past Lucas Luhr’s BMW which had braking problems. Frederic Makowiecki took the fourth position, leaving Luhr in fifth in final minutes of the race. After 78 laps, Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor used incoming traffic to increase his lead to 3.300 over Hand and win in Prototype, while in GTLM Class BMW’s Dirk Werner crossed the finish line with 2.911 advantage over Risi’s Kaffer after 76 laps.