Barbosa, Albuquerque again on the top podium spot at Long Beach
They did it again. Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque have won the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Grand Prix at Long Beach, the third round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It’s the second consecutive victory for a pair in the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R of Action Express Racing.
For Barbosa, it was 24th IMSA victory in a career (10 WeatherTech Championship, 11 Grand-Am, two ALMS and one USRRC), while Albuquerque recorded his fifth IMSA win (four WeatherTech Championship, one Grand-Am).
In the closing laps of the 100-minute race, Albuquerque was under pressure of Ricky Taylor in the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi, who was looking for his fourth win at Long Beach. In the end, the gap was just 0.740 seconds on the finish line. Taylor was sharing a car with Helio Castroneves, who was the fastest qualifier at the 1.968-mile street circuit.
Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron made it two Acuras on the podium, taking third in the #6 ARX-05 DPi. Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez finished a season-best fourth in the #77 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P DPi, followed by Simon Trummer and Stephen Simpson, who finished fifth in the #84 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R.
The decisive moment of the race happened with 45 minutes remaining when race-leader Dirk Muller (#66 CGR Ford GT) accidentally hit the pit road speed limiter and slowed down, dropping to P2 behind Earl Bamber. On the final lap, a collision with the #3 Corvette of Jan Magnussen pushed Muller into the wall and he ultimately finished fourth.
Magnussen limped to the finish with the damaged front bumper, taking second place for him and Antonio Garcia. Their teammates in the #4 Corvette Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin, completed the podium.
With the victory, Bamber and Vanthoor moved into the GTLM class points lead over their teammates in the #911 Porsche and the defending champion duo Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, May 5. The two-hour and 40-minute race will include all four classes of cars.