IMSA: Acura Long Beach Grand Prix Qualifying Results
With qualifying complete the IMSA Acura Long Beach Grand Prix grid is set. The Acuras of Konica Minolta (Wayne Taylor Racing) and Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian continued their street circuit dominance from FP2. Acura secured a 1-2 finish in the first sprint race qualifying of the year. The Konica Minolta Acura was the only car to dip into the 1m09s. Konica Minolta set a qualifying time nearly 7 tenths ahead of the Meyer Shank Racing Acura. Pole position for Konica Minolta may provide the team with the edge they need to bring home their first win of 2023.
The No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R ran 3rd fastest overall which is an improvement from the result in FP2. The team was able to cut an addition 1.7s off of their lap time. Team RLL rounded out the top 5 running 4th and 5th.
Vasser Sullivan improved from FP2 and topped the GTD Pro qualifying session to start 10th overall and 1st in class. The WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 again fell outside of the main GTD Pro pack similarly to FP2. The team posted a presss release that stated the following, “Jules Gounon (France) and Daniel Juncadella (Spain) spent the two practice sessions learning the Long Beach circuit in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support.”
Juncadello stated, “First, the Long Beach circuit is amazing,” Juncadella said. “I really enjoy it. It’s mega! For me it’s a good discovery and new track that I enjoy driving.”
[Referring to his qualifying run] “I was compromised by the yellow flags around the track and then later the red. I really didn’t get a good run on the new tires. The WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 felt good in practice, so we will have to maximize what we have now in the race tomorrow.”
Gounon also comments stating, “It is amazing when you are four-wheel drifting the car towards the wall. I thought sunny California was going to be a bit hotter, but it has been cool. We got unlucky in qualifying with Dani. We will have to work our strategy with the WeatherTech Racing/Proton guys and be ready to take advantage of every opportunity. We had big changes in the balance of performance coming into the race, so we will have to optimize everything for the tomorrow.”
In an effort reminiscent of their Rolex 24 win this year. The Heart of Racing GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 topped the table for GTD and GTD Pro cars in qualifying. They set a blistering class fastest lap at 1m17.811s. Second fastest was the Vasser Sullivan Lexus. Logging a lap just over 5 tenths behind the Heart of Racing’s car. The rest of the field will need to find some pace come race time. If Aston Martin is able to maintain their pace over the course of the 100 minute race it could be trouble for the field.
Full Qualifying results are below. The race starts today at 2:00pm Pacific time. You can access the race and a large amount of additional content at IMSA. The race will also be airing on channel USA at 2:00pm via local cable networks.