Friday, April 8, 2022- All Times Pacific
7:30 AM Spectator Gates Open
7:45 AM – 8:25 AM Porsche Carrera Cup (PCC) Practice #1
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM IMSA Practice #1
10:30 AM – 10:50 AM Historic IMSA GTP Challenge (GTP) Practice #1
11:05 AM – 11:35 AM PCC Practice #2
12:40 PM – 1:00 PM Stadium SUPER Trucks (SST) Practice #1
1:15 PM – 3:00 PM IMSA Practice #2
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM INDYCAR Practice #1– Peacock
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM PCC Qualifying
4:55 PM – 5:55 PM INDYCAR Autograph Session (INDYCAR Paddock – free to all spectators)
5:10 PM – 5:55 PM IMSA Qualifying
6:30 PM – 6:50 PM Super Drift Practice
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM Formula D Super Drift Challenge Competition #1
Good morning from beautiful, very warm Long Beach. The temperature is forecast to be in the mid 90s today before cooling down for the weekend.
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach returns to its traditional April date on the NTT Indycar Series calendar after moving to the season finale in 2021. Sunday’s race will be the 38th Indycar race on the streets of Long Beach, Formula 5000 held the first street race here in1975, followed by F1 until 1983. At that point, the Grand Prix Association decided F1 was too expensive and signed with CART to keep the annual event running. The pandemic year of 2020 was the only year there was no race here,
The Indycar paddock enters the third race of the season with two teams, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, filling the top of the points standings. Penske drivers Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden have won the first two races. Defending series champion Alex Palou sits third behind Penske’s Will Power. Palou is just ahead of Newgarden. Two team which were expected to also challenge for first place have been noticeably absent.
Can Andretti and AMSP Rebound?
Andretti Autosport, perennially a factor in the title hunt, has been the victim of some bad luck and strategy this season. Colton Herta leads the team at seventh in the standings, The addition of Romain Grosjean was expected to strengthen the team, but the results haven’t been there yet.
Sunday’s race may help the team get back on track. Andretti cars and drivers have dominated this track the last four years. Alexander Rossi won this race back to back in 2018 and 2019. Herta won the season final last September. Sunday is Andretti’s best chance to begin the return to contention. I think they will have a good weekend,
AMSP Tries to Turn Season Around
The high hopes some fans had for the Arrow McLaren SP squad have not panned out. Felix Rosenqvist’s pole at Texas has been the high point of the year, but the joy of that moment faded before the end of the opening lap. Bad pit stops by Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward spoiled their races. Another bad weekend will make it difficult for either driver to get back into title consideration.
The team has had some decent street course results, and this weekend is almost a must to get a top five.
Jack Harvey sat out the Texas race after suffering a concussion in a hard crash at Texas. Harvey has been an enigma since joining the Indycar series. he is a talented driver, but has produced just one podium in his career, I thought the switch to a stringer team would help him, but we are still waiting for some good results.
Colton Herta has won the last three races in California, dating back to his 2019 victory at Laguna Seca. I think he will find a way to win again, and Rossi and Grosjean will also have good weekends.
Once a driver falls behind in points, it is difficult to catch up.
Newgarden, McLaughlin, Power, Palou, and Dixon will be chasing Herta and all will help their positions in the points.