RLL Racing is Looking for First 2023 GTP Win in Long Beach
After coming off of a dramatic 2nd place finish in the GTP class at the 12 hours of Sebring. RLL Racing has it’s sights set on winning their first race of 2023. What better place to achieve that than Long Beach, CA this weekend? RLL Racing have prepped both the No. 24 and No. 25 GTP class BMW M V8 Hybrids to compete this weekend.
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be held on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit on April 15. The race is the shortest on the calendar and will run for 100 minutes which is stark contract to the Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring. All errors, pit spots, safety cars and other on track incidents will be amplified due to the reduced race time. Cars are only expected to make on pit stop in this grand prix. Qualifying is also very important in Long Beach. The tight streets and track limit proximity to the track walls make passing difficult. Given the short amount of time between qualifying and the race; teams will have very limited time to make any repairs or alterations that may result from incidents prior to the race.
Team Principal at RLL Racing, Bobby Rahal stated in a press release, “Long Beach is always a great event and we’ve had very good success there in past seasons with BMW. This year, with the BMW M Hybrid V8, it’s an entirely different animal. But as always, at a tight street circuit, where it’s tough to pass, a good qualifying effort is paramount.”
Connor De Phillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8:
“Long Beach is always a special event for us. It’s the shortest race of the year, our only street course, and the strategic possibilities are endless. On top of that, we have a nice wave of momentum from our Sebring podium and the entire team is making a big push to bring a lot of improvements from every department. We don’t have prototype experience there but I’m confident we can learn from last year and fight for another podium.”
Nick Yelloly, driver No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8:
“I am really looking forward to racing at Long Beach. It will be my first time there, as with most of the tracks in the US. After having watched it for many years on TV, to be finally driving is a dream come true, as I love street circuits. We will be looking to continue to make progress as we did in Sebring with our BMW V8 Hybrid and hopefully be at the sharp end of the field.”
Philipp Eng, driver No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8:
“I am very much looking forward to racing at Long Beach, which is a new track for me. I have done a million laps around there on the simulator, so I can’t wait to race there in real life. We took some major steps in Sebring and our whole team is working very diligently so we keep improving.”
Augusto Farfus, driver No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8:
“Long Beach will be a challenge for both me and Philipp. I believe we may be the only pair to have never driven this circuit. It is certainly a race I have been looking forward to and looks to be a very exciting event. I have been watching many videos. We will push hard to get up to speed. The team made some good improvements to our BMW at Sebring, and we will look to continue to close the gap to our competition.”
RLL Racing currently sits in 4th (586 points) in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship series. Ahead are Whelan Engineering Racing (1st; 670 points), Konica Minolta Racing (2nd; 660 points)and #01 Cadillac Racing (3rd: 600).
FP1 for the WeatherTech Championship kicks off at 12:00pm local time on April 14 2023. Check out the action at here.