Racing under palm trees.
On to the next stops for Porsche Penske Motorsport: On the weekend of April 15 and 16, Porsche Penske Motorsport will be participating in the ACURA Grand Prix of Long Beach of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 6 Hours of Portimão of the World Endurance Championship. The races are like night and day: While a six-hour endurance race is due in Portugal, the race in the USA is limited to 100 minutes.
Starting off in Long Beach, California, USA on April 15 is the Grand Prix of Long Beach as the third IMSA race. After the endurance races in Sebring and Daytona, the track on the north American west coast poses a new challenge for the team operating out of Mooresville: The goal is to take the lead or hold it within 100 minutes.
Due to the short runtime of the race, the IMSA only allows for one pit stop. So, it will boil down to a battle for fastest lap times and race strategies focusing on speed, during which the drivers of the Porsche Penske Motorsport and Customer Racing Teams will attempt to utilize the high speeds of their vehicles.
In terms of layout, the temporary track in Long Beach offers quite a few spots that allow for passing maneuvers and technical battles: It starts right before a long-drawn curve along the coast and then moves on into a combination of sharp turns. After that, the track heads a bit into town, past car parks and shopping centers, straight ahead and parallel to roads still in public use. Right before entering the finishing straight, drivers have to conquer a hairpin curve. And all that in front of the picturesque scenery of the Long Beach waterfront.
Two Porsche Penske Motorsport drivers are well familiar with the city track in Long Beach: both, Felipe Nasr and Nick Tandy reached the first spots of their class rankings with their teams in 2021. The team members from Team Penske also bring past experience – with a top placement in the IndyCar Series 2022.
Fans can follow the race on April 15, 11 p.m. CET.
Six hours between the hills of the Algarve.
Just a day after the Porsche Penske Motorsport IMSA team battles it out with the competition under the palm trees of the Californian Long Beach, the WEC team enters the grid in Portimão in Portugal. The pending 6 Hours of Portimão are a more classic endurance race.
The Porsche Penske Motorsport Team can most likely expect early summer temperatures in one of the southernmost places in Portugal. The FIA WEC previously had an event in 2021 in Portimão, back then in an eight-hour format. Also there for the race back then: Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Frédéric Makowiecki in two Porsche 911 RSR. In 2021, they managed to score second and third spot of the LMGTE Pro class ranking.
This year, they will be seated in the Porsceh 963 #5 and #6. After the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team already showed the potential of the Hypercar during the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the focus on April 16 in Portimão will be on implementing the improvements. Of course with the goal to capture the podium.
For that, they will have to spend six hours on the track of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – a track also known as “rollercoaster”. This nickname has its reasons: before entering the start-finish straight, the track heads slightly upwards, only to drop once more into the first curve. Though it is ample, it is hard to see due to the apex of the curve being beyond the field of vision of the drivers. Following up is a hairpin curve and a long straight that tempts drivers into overtaking the competition. Particularly curve eight is irritating for drivers: first it takes a right and then it heads upwards, making it seem like they are driving toward the sky – the track vanishes from their view, only the vehicle and the sky remain. Directly after that they are back on the way down into a curve and up once more, making the following curve come up almost unexpectedly. Even for experienced drivers, the level of required concentration is immense.
The audience can expect thrilling, technical battles, as the track is demanding, but popular for that very reason. Start will be on April 16 at 12 p.m. noon CEST.