OLD GUYS RULE

SCOTT PRUETT/No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford Riley DP won overall and in class for Saturday’s TUDOR United Sports Car Championship Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase, as part of the 40th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. He and teammate MEMO ROJAS of Mexico led all but one lap, when they pitted. Their Margin of Victory was 0.759 seconds, and for the most part, they were never more than two seconds ahead of the second-place drivers. It was the sixteenth victory for team owner, CHIP GANASSI. The drivers celebrated by taking selfies on the dais.

Pruett took a lot of ribbing about his age and experience. He’s won LBGP races in three different decades, in two different centuries, and in two different milleniums.

Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor & Jan Magnussen

Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor & Jan Magnussen

JORDAN TAYLOR/No.10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette CP was second, with brother RICKY TAYLOR; followed by JOAO BARBOSA/No.5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with teammate CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI.

Barbbosa led one lap during Rojas’ pit stop. Pruett got into the car, and was able to pass Barbosa. Pruett said it wasn’t easy – passing or winning. “It was just short of a qualifying lap I think the whole time. When you run 100 laps like that, and no yellows, you can throw a blanket over the top three cars. I think it says a lot for the TUDOR Championship, what we’re doing and where we’re going. There have been huge challenges with the new series packages.”

Rojas said “I just want to win races. I expect the competition to get better each race.

Kevin’s Dad, JAN MAGNUSSEN/No.3 Corvette RaciKng Chevrolet Corvette CR.7, with teammate ANTONIO GARCIA won the GTLM class, finishing eighth overall, two laps down. This was the thirty-eighth victory for Magnussen and eighth for Garcia.

Magnussen said “I tried to drive around and not make any mistakes. Top speed doesn’t play much of a part here at Long Beach compared to Sebring.” This was the first win at Long Beach for Garcia. “They told me to stay away from the walls.”

Second and third in the GTLM class were DIRK MUELLER and co-driver JOHN EDWARDS/No.56 Team BMW RLL BMW Z4 GTE; and TOMMY MILNER, teaming with OLIVER GAVIN in No.4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette CR.7. Seven of the top nine GTLM cars were on their lead lap.

The third-place No.4 Corvette won the Green Challenge Award, for the most-efficient team.

The 100-minute sprint race ran caution-free, with local yellow flags controlling individual situations. The one-stop race wasn’t without incidents, but nothing like the season’s first two races. The weather was a beautiful 69 degrees with blue skies, and track temperature of 95 degrees.

Five of the top seven P class drivers were on the lead lap. Sixteen of 21 drivers were running at the finish.

No.70 SpeedSource Mazda

No.60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley DP
TOM LONG/No.70 SpeedSource Mazda was the first out with a blown head gasket on Lap 3. His co-driver, team owner, SYLVAIN TREMBLAY had qualified the car.

JOHN PEW/No.60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley DP learned the hard way that three into Turn One don’t go. He stuffed it into the tire wall on the first lap, but was extricated without a caution, and continued on. Then he spun in Turn Eight with MICHAEL VALIENTE/No.90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP, but both continued. Later, Pew’s co-driver, OSWALDO NEGRI, was turning fast laps, but stalled, couldn’t restart, and retired on Lap 39 of the 77-lap race.

Marsh Racing’s No.31 Corvette DP, with drivers BORIS SAID and ERIC CURRAN retired on Lap 22 of the 77-lap race, with a broken control arm. They previously had received a Pit Lane speeding ticket, netting them a stop and go penalty plus twenty seconds.

JONATHAN BOMARITO/No.93 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R retired on Lap 56 with drive line issues. His co-drivers were MARC GOOSSENS and KUNO WITTMER.

RYAN DALZIEL/No.1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b retired on the penultimate lap, with a mechanical problem.

Ricky Taylor said it was his first race together with brother on the podium together. Jordan said “It was a great race. some bumping and banging and some unnecessary aggression at the first, but no one into the wall. There were battles in the race, which shows the professional level in the series.”

Post-race inspection was cleared with no issues.

The next race is on Sunday 4 May 2014 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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