How to watch IMSA sports cars at Long Beach: Schedule, TV info, streaming, start times, more


The ending of last year’s IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach was a largely forgettable experience for Ricky Taylor.

But the persistence of memory is why the No. 10 Acura ARX-06 driver is geeked about returning to the streets of Southern California for Saturday’s race (4:30 p.m. ET, USA and Peacock).

“I’m really excited to be going back because I remember my first feeling after the race last year was, “Gosh, I wish I could try this again,” said Taylor, who crashed with two laps remaining while trying to chase down the lead. “And you don’t get a second chance in motorsports. So going back this year, it’s like I’ve been thinking about that moment for a year now and finally get a chance to go erase it from my memory — hopefully this year.

“But if I would do it again … it’s so situational. It didn’t seem like an overly aggressive move at the time.”

Perhaps the most aggressive move in last year’s race was a pit call by the winning No. 6 Porsche 963. After qualifying sixth, the duo of Mathieu Jamient and Nick Tandy ran the entire 100-minute race without changing tires — delivering the first victory for Porsche Penske Motorsport since the German automaker’s return to the premier prototype category.

More milestones are at stake for Porsche with a repeat win (the manufacturer is aiming for its 600th career IMSA victory and Team Penske is seeking its 100th pole and 100th win in sports cars).

But Michelin has returned to Long Beach with a softer tire, so Porsche Penske Motorsport managing director Jonathan Diuguid is expecting the team’s 2023 strategy to be “less likely. I’m not going to say it’s completely off the table because in the previous two years, Long Beach has been relatively caution-free.

“But I think with the street course, and we have two additional GTP cars relative to where we were last year, so it’s up to 10, and more GT cars than we had last year, so I think the traffic is going to be more of a concern, but I think anything’s on the table, and you’ll see people deploying whatever they can to get track position at a tight circuit. So I wouldn’t say it’s off the table. I think cars completing the race on one set of tires is probably unlikely, but I think there’ll be other tire strategies at play.”

Just like the closing laps of Long Beach last year, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is shaping up as a Porsche vs. Acura battle through the first two races this season.

After winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona season opener, Porsche Penske Motorsport’s other entry, the No. 7 963 of Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron, is tied for the Grand Touring Prototype points standings lead with Wayne Taylor Racing Andretti’s No. 40 ARX-06 of Louis Deletraz and Jordan Taylor, who teamed with Colton Herta to win the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Both wins were the first for each car in GTP, which introduced hybrid engines to IMSA’ top class last season. Sebring also was the first victory since the Taylor-Andretti partnership and the first for Jordan Taylor since he reteamed with his father and brother after four years in a Corvette GT.

After a five-year absence from racing a prototype on the extremely tight 11-turn, 1.968-mile circuit, Taylor has been honing his Long Beach traffic management skills through sim racing, He also has been making mental notes while rewatching the last few years of the LBGP — and he expects the competition also has been diligently studying less straightforward strategies in a sprint race that essentially requires only one pit stop to change drivers and refuel.

“If you have a bad qualifying and you’re at the back, it’s so hard to pass that there’s no point in kind of running that simple strategy,” Taylor said. “When you’re at the back, you can take those chances, and sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. So hopefully we have a good qualifying, and it’s a simple strategy for us to kind of keep it out front, but you never know. Driver, tires, fuel — everything can make or break it. So yeah, everyone’s been doing their homework ahead of time for this one.”

Ricky Taylor is anticipating higher tire degradation, but “there’s definitely going to be people trying different stuff. There’s quite a bit of room to play. And I think for one stop, it’s going to be pretty exciting what people do.”

But hopefully not too exciting for him this time — though he won’t rule out another daring attempt at the victory.

“I wouldn’t make the same move obviously, because it didn’t work,” he said. “I might have waited a lap or two longer knowing what I know now. He was quite off the pace, and I might have had another chance. At the time, you think you don’t have another shot. So I don’t blame myself for going for it last year. We really wanted to win the race. The second place wasn’t something we were interested in. And now this year, we need to get some points and we need a result.

“So yeah, we’re going to be aggressive. Hopefully that situation doesn’t happen again.”

Here are the details for the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (all times are ET):


2024 IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

WHEN: Saturday, April 20, 4:35 p.m.

DISTANCE: A 100-minute race on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course in Long Beach, California.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 69 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 27-car field in two categories (GTP, GTD) for the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

QUALIFYING: Friday, April 19, 7:55 p.m. ET (coverage on Peacock and IMSA.tv)


RACE BROADCAST

TV: The IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be on USA Network and streamed on Peacock starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. (Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage of all IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events in 2024. Click here for information on how to sign up for Peacock.)

Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analyst Calvin Fish. Marty Snider and Dillon Welch are the pit reporters.

RADIO: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Saturday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. (Sirius channel 211, XM 206, Web/App 996)


GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH DAILY SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

5-7 p.m.: Track walk

FRIDAY, APRIL 19

10:45-11:15 a.m.: GT America practice
Noon-1 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice
1:15-1:35 p.m.: Historic Motor Sports Association practice
2:30-3 p.m.: GT America practice
3:15-3:35 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks practice/qualifying
3:50-5:20 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice
5:50-7:05 p.m.: IndyCar practice
7:25-7:40 p.m.: GT America qualifying
8-8:50 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying
9:30-9:50: p.m.: Super Drift practice
10-11:30 p.m.: Super Drift Challenge Race 1

SATURDAY, APRIL 20

10:40-11 a.m.: Historic Motor Sports Association practice
11:25 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: IndyCar practice
1:40-2 p.m.: Historic Motor Sports Association Race 1
2:25-3:55 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying
4:35 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (100 minutes, USA and Peacock)
7-7:30 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks Race 1
7:45-8;25 p.m.: GT America Race 1
9:30-9:50 p.m.: Super Drift practice
10-11:30 p.m.: Super Drift Challenge Race 2


IMSA COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS

Michael Andretti, Wayne Taylor celebrate first win together
Louis Deletraz closes Acura’s first victory at Twelve Hours of Sebring
Porsche wins Rolex 24 at Daytona, ending 55-year drought for Roger Penske
A viewer’s guide to the Rolex 24: Five things to watch this weekend
Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Josef Newgarden among notable crossovers this year
Inside the sophisticated cockpit of a GTP hybrid prototype
Bubba Wallace wowed by sports car culture
Pipo Derani puts No. 31 Cadillac on pole position with record lap at Daytona
Defending Rolex 24 winner Mike Shank on IMSA comeback: “I work on it every day”
As his team grows bigger than ever, Wayne Taylor keeps an eye on the little things


NASCAR ON NBC PODCAST IMSA COVERAGE

Episode 312: Rolex 24 preview: A world-class field gathers at the World Center of Racing for a race of champions: Listen on Apple Podcasts, Listen on Spotify

Episode 313: Unable to defend Rolex 24 title, Mike Shank plots his IMSA return: Listen on Apple Podcasts, Listen on Spotify

Episode 314: Unable to defend Rolex 24 title, Mike Shank plots his IMSA return: Listen on Apple Podcasts, Listen on Spotify



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