IMSA sports cars at Long Beach: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

IMSA
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IMSA Long Beach start times: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will hold its shortest race of the season Saturday with a 100-minute sprint around the streets of Southern California in the Acura Grand Prix.

It’s the first IMSA race at the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course in more than two years after the 2020 race was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be 26 cars featured over three divisions as the GTD class returns for the first time at Long Beach since 2017.

With two races remaining in the 2021 DPi season (which will conclude Nov. 13 with the Petit Le Mans), the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque has a 98-point lead on the No. 31 Action Express Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.

The GT cars have three races left with the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GTE of Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley leading by 27 points on the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R of Zach Robichon and Laurens Vanthoor.

Colin Braun, who races full time in LMP3, will making his first GT start since 2017 when he shares the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 with Daniel Mancinelli at Long Beach

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (all times are ET):


IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 5:05 p.m. ET

Race distance: One hour, 40 minutes on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 77 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 26-car field over three divisions for the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.


RACE BROADCAST IMSA LONG BEACH

TV:  5 p.m. ET, NBCSN.

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: Live flag to flag beginning at 5 p.m. ET. Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and Calvin Fish and pit reporters Kevin Lee and Marty Snider.

Race streaming: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

IMSA.com live qualifying stream: Friday, Sept. 24, 7:45 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at 5 p.m. (Sirius 216, XM 202, Internet 992).


DAILY SCHEDULE IMSA LONG BEACH

Here’s a rundown of the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach(all times ET):

Friday, Sept. 24

Noon-12:20 p.m.: Historic Formula Atlanta Challenge practice

12:45-1:45 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

2:10-2:30 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks practice

3:35-4 p.m.: Global Time Attack practice

4:20-5:35 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

6:15-6:45 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series practice

7-7:20 p.m.: Historic Formula Atlanta Challenge qualifying

7:45-8:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

9:15-9:35 p.m.: Super Drift Challenge practice

9:45-11:15 p.m.: Formula D Super Drift Challenge, Race 1

Saturday, Sept. 25

Noon-12:45 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series practice

1:05-1:35 p.m.: Stadium Super Trucks, Race 1

2:05-2:20 p.m.: Global Time Attack, Race 1

3:05-4:20 p.m.: NTT IndyCar Series qualifying

5:05-6:45 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race

7:30-7:50 p.m.: Historic Formula Atlanta Challenge, Race 1

8:30-8:50 p.m.: Super Drift Challenge practice

9-10:30 p.m.:Formula D Super Drift Challenge, Race 2

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

Hunter Jett Lawrence fans
Align Media
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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”