39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach


alms, falken porsche
Falken debuted a new race tire for this event.  The new tire uses the same street course compound from last year, but utilizes a brand new construction.  The Falken Porsche had a strong showing and could have possibly finished on the podium.


With the end of the 2 hour race nearing its finish, it seemed that HPD's gamble to bring in the Muscle Milk ARX-03a early for a full pit stop was going to pay off.  With only about five minutes left in the race the HPD prototype had more than 30 seconds on the Toyota of Rebellion Racing.

Then the craziness that is racing continued in the GT class!  Who would have thought that after such a bad start for the BMWs that they would find themselves in 2nd and 3rd place with minutes to go in the race.  The Vipers were holding to the 1st and 4th positions with the Falken Porsche right on their heels in 5th.  Then the bonehead move of the day happened.  Coming off the front straight into turn 1, the Falken Porsche tried to make an aggressive inside move on one of the Vipers.  The Porsche did not have position and did not own the corner, but still decided to stick his nose in.  The Viper turned in, there was not enough room for both of them, they touched and both spun out.  This allowed the pair of Corvettes to get by both of them and put more space between them and the top 3 GT cars; Viper, BMW and BMW.


As the BMWs kept getting stronger as the race progressed, they started applying the pressure to the leading Viper.  Going into turn 1 the Viper broke too late, lost traction for a second, and gave Auberlen the gap he needed to make the pass for first place!


Then with less than a minute left in the race the #56 BMW got a run on the second place Viper coming out of turn 8 and after a drag race down the back straight they go into 9 side by side and Mueller is able to hold the BMWs line and complete the pass before they get to the hair pin before start/finish!  And just like that the team that seemed to be out of the race took the top two podium spots.  Congratulations to Bill Auberlen for getting his first win in Long Beach and to team RLL for a well deserved win.  


The HPD Muscle Milk prototype hung on to its lead and took home the win in the LMP1 class and Rebellion Racing's Toyota took second by default.


extreme speed, lpm2
In LMP2 it was the first timers who showed they had what it takes to be a contender in the prototype field.  Congrats to the Extreme Speed team for their 1 – 2 finish.


Core Autosport qualified second and took home the win the LMPC class.  


Enrique Cisneros wins the GTC class.  Does the livery on the car behind him look familiar?  It should.  That's the Flying Lizard team that is no longer running in the GT class.  They will be running in the lower GTC class this year.


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