IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams travel to Long Beach, Calif. this weekend for the second and final street race of 2021. 26 teams contest the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on the 1.968-mile street course in the DPi, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes.
In the DPi class, the six full-time operations will be in attendance. The list includes the Cadillacs from Chip Ganassi Racing, JDC-Miller MotorSports and Action Express Racing, the two Acura teams and Mazda Motorsports. There are no driver changes of note.
For the DPi teams, this is the second-to-last race of the season. Following their victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 12, Wayne Taylor Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor currently hold a 98-point lead in the standings over Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr.
The GT Le Mans class has the three full-time entries, two from Corvette Racing and WeatherTech Racing’s Porsche. Here, there is one driver change. Mathieu Jaminet returns to the No. 79 Porsche in place of Matt Campbell.
The GT Daytona class has 17 entries, the most since Daytona in January. There are a couple of teams that will make their season debuts Saturday (Sept. 25).
One of those is US RaceTronics with Steven Aghakhani and Jacob Eidson, which will make their first-ever WeatherTech start. This team i one that has raced in a number of different series. They’ve competed in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Fanatec GT World Challenge America competition over the past three years.
Another is GMG Racing, which is making their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start since 2014. Back then, the team fielded an Audi R8 GT3 Ultra. For the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, they will race a Porsche 911 GT3 R. Team owner James Sofronas will drive with an undeclared teammate.
Scuderia Corsa will make their first start since Daytona with their Ferrari 488 GT3. Colin Braun, who is off from his regular drive with CORE autosport, will handle the No. 63 Ferrari alongside Daniel Mancinelli, who will be making his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut. Mancinelli is likely best known in the United States from when he drove full-time for TR3 Racing in what was then the Pirelli World Challenge in 2017. He raced at Long Beach that year, finishing fourth.
UPDATE: Compass Racing announced Wednesday (Sept. 22) that Matt McMurry, fresh off of a Pro-Am in Race No. 2 at Watkins Glen International for Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS Sunday, is returning to the series for this weekend. Mario Farnbacher will continue in the primary driving role.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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