IMSA 2022 Long Beach results: Sebastien Bourdais rebounds to help Ganassi win

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LONG BEACH, California — Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande staged an impressive rally, making up a gap of 21 seconds to top the IMSA results for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Bourdais started on the pole position in the No. 01 Cadillac after setting a track qualifying record with a 1-minute, 9.472-second lap to earn the DPi pole for the second consecutive race in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series.

But just as in the Twelve Hours of Sebring last month (where the car also finished last in class for the second consecutive race), the Chip Ganassi Racing driver encountered early trouble when he nosed into the Turn 11 tire barrier on the sixth lap, handing the lead to teammate Alex Lynn.

RESULTS: Click here for the final overall finishing order l Click here for the class breakdown

Over the next 24 laps, Bourdais made up a 21-second deficit to reclaim the lead from Lynn.

“The car was so fast,” Bourdais told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “I guess I went down the inside of the hairpin, and it just simply didn’t turn. From there, you get the gap — 21 seconds down to the leader — and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s going to be a tall order.’ That car was so amazing, I just managed to bring it back, do the fuel number and couldn’t be any prouder of the whole team.”

During the race after exiting the car, Bourdais told Snider that he drove so hard, “you kind of go into a bit of a trance when you try to pull off something that really shouldn’t be possible

“You’re on fire because you’re so mad at yourself. I guess I’m accustomed to stupid mistakes and trying to make up for that. Luckily, there wasn’t much damage and I’m just glad we got the lead back.”

Though he joked that Bourdais has messed up by putting the car in the wall, van der Zande watched in awe during his teammate’s charge. On Lap 16, Bourdais broke the track record for the DPi category with a lap of 1:10.317 on Lap 16 in carving his way through the field.

“I think the words of the day are don’t make a Frenchman angry,” van der Zande said. “Sebastien drove it back to the front. He put it in the wall there and then he moved it up the order and gave it to me in the lead. Amazing job by Sebastien, and I just had to drive it home. We had a fantastic car.”

It was the first IMSA victory at Long Beach for both Bourdais and van der Zande and the third for Chip Ganassi Racing, which earned its 62nd victory in the sports car series.

Lynn and Earl Bamber finished second in Ganassi’s No. 02 Cadillac, and No. 5 JDC Miller MotorSports co-drivers Tristan Vautier and Richard Westbrook made it a podium sweep for Cadillac.

A rundown of winners in other categories:


GTD Pro

The No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 earned the first Long Beach victory for the Heart of Racing team, which scored its fourth career victory.

It also was the first Long Beach win for co-drivers Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas.

GTD

The No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 of Paul Miller Racing earned its ninth career victory with co-drivers Bryan Sellers (second Long Beach victory, 13th career) and Madison Snow (eighth win, second at Long Beach).


STATS PACKAGE FOR IMSA ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will resume with the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca Raceway, April 29-May 1.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III