Will the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix deliver results?
The stop at Long Beach was not a full IMSA event as it had been in years past. It was just a showcase involving two of the four classes the new, TUDOR Unified SportsCar Championship series (TUSCC) currently has outlined.
For the fan, the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach event turned out to be just a zest of what they had come to expect after seeing the American Le Mans Series with its full compliment of classes and cars, 33 cars in 4 classes in 2013, these last few years.
The Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach celebrated it's 40th year and it appeared as though that, through its trimmed down field of 21 entrants, the TUSCC did not really come to party at "The Beach" for its 100 minute (1.66 hour) sprint session - as this was the main event for Saturday. The overall main event would be the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday scheduled for 120 minutes (2 hours).
For a formally endurance racing focused series, this seemed to have left most fans asking ... Is this all there is? There is always the next race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - there is sure to be some endurance racing there.
This excerpted and edited from IMSA -
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Celebrates New Race Series with Laps on the Streets of San Jose
IMSA Press Release
The Streets of San Jose may never be the same after drivers from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship get their race cars into full gear as they do a few laps around Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the Mini Grand Prix of San Jose on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
The TUDOR Championship competitors are in San Jose to share the high-revving powerful new race cars with fans in advance of the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda. Since it is the first race of the year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, May 2-4, 2014, the circuit wanted to share its motorsports passion with new audiences to kick-off the season.
San Jose Earthquakes defender Jordan Stewart will serve as Grand Marshal for the Mini Grand Prix of San Jose. He will be accompanied by TUDOR United SportsCar Championship drivers who include:
- SRT Motorsports, SRT Viper GTS-R, driver: Jonathan Bomarito;
- Performance Tech Prototype Challenge, driver: Charlie Shears;
|#70 Mazda SKYACTIV Diesel-Powered Prototype - Credit Edmund Jenks (2014)|
- SpeedSource, Mazda Prototype, driver: Sylvain Tremblay;
- Krohn Racing, Ferrari 458, GT Le Mans, driver: Nic Jonsson;
- TRG-AMR, Aston Martin V12 Vantage, drivers: Al Carter/James Davison;
- BMW Team Rahal, BMW Z4 GTE, driver: Bill Auberlen;
- Spirit of Daytona, Corvette DP, driver: Richard Westbrook/Michael Valiante,
- Michael Shank Racing, Riley DP Conti 2-seater, drivers John Pew/Oswaldo Negri, Jr.
The Mini Grand Prix of San Jose begins with race cars on display at 11 a.m., demonstration laps around Plaza de Cesar Chavez begin at noon and a fan autograph session with the TUDOR Championship drivers and Jordan Stewart begins at 12:30 p.m. There will also be prize giveaways including race gear and event tickets.
The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda, features the Monterey debut of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, America's all-new premier sports car racing Series. The Series was created by the merger of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car and American Le Mans organizations, both of which had a long history of competing at Mazda Raceway. The TUDOR Championship features two styles of cars, Prototype and GT (Grand Touring). Each style of car has two classes, Pro and Pro-Am, meaning there are four classes of racing on track together, each with their own battle for the lead.
The problem is ... according to the schedule, there will be two separate races of two-hours apiece not any endurance racing, say all classes for four hours for example, as suggested - there are four classes of racing on track together - in the above press release.
The world has gone crazy and the uncertainty may push the interest off a bit if the product is not what fans have come to expect. Heck, on Saturday there is more endurance in the Continental Tire Challenge race which is scheduled for 150 minutes/2.5 hours, than there is for the TUSCC.
There is no need to mislead but there is a need to deliver and two sprint races (in the context of endurance racing) may not have the desired fan interest effect.
|GTLM Class TUDOR United SportsCar Championship 40th Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach grid walk. Image Credit Edmund Jenks (2014)|
Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda
2 May - FRIDAY
Practice 1 - Lamborghini 11:40 AM - 12:20 PM ET [8:40 AM - 9:20 AM PT]
Practice 1 - Continental Tire Challenge 12:35 PM - 1:20 PM ET [9:35 AM - 10:20 AM PT]
Practice 2 - Lamborghini 3:00 PM - 3:40 PM ET [12:00 PM - 12:40 PM PT]
Practice 2 - Continental Tire Challenge 4:40 PM - 5:25 PM ET [1:40 PM - 2:25 PM PT]
Qualifying - Continental Tire Challenge (ST) 7:10 PM - 7:25 PM ET [4:10 PM - 4:25 PM PT]
Qualifying - Continental Tire Challenge (GS) 7:40 PM - 7:55 PM ET [4:40 PM - 4:55 PM PT]
Qualifying - Lamborghini 8:10 PM - 8:40 PM ET [5:10 PM - 5:40 PM PT]
3 May - SATURDAY
Practice 1 - TUDOR Championship 12:35 PM - 1:35 PM ET [9:35 AM - 10:35 AM PT]
Race 1 - Lamborghini 1:50 PM ET [10:50 AM PT] (50 minutes)
Race Start - Continental Tire Challenge 3:45 PM ET [12:45 PM PT] (150 minutes/2.5 hours)
Practice 2 - TUDOR Championship 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM ET [3:45 PM - 4:45 PM PT]
Qualifying - TUDOR Championship (GTD) 7:55 PM - 8:10 PM ET [4:55 PM - 5:10 PM PT]
Qualifying - TUDOR Championship (GTLM) 8:15 PM - 8:30 PM ET [5:15 PM - 5:30 PM PT]
Qualifying - TUDOR Championship (PC) 8:40 PM - 8:55 PM ET [5:40 PM - 5:55 PM PT]
Qualifying - TUDOR Championship (P) 9:00 PM - 9:15 PM ET [6:00 PM - 6:15 PM PT]
4 May - SUNDAY
TUDOR Championship (PC/GTD) 1:15 PM ET [10:15 AM PT] (120 minutes/2 hours)
Race 2 - Lamborghini 3:40 PM ET [12:40 PM PT] (50 minutes)
TUDOR Championship (P/GTLM) 5:45 PM ET [2:45 PM PT] (120 minutes/2 hours)
As the old saying goes ... Racin', is racin' ... so let's go to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and see the first (and only) West Coast stint of the full field of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship teams, drivers, and race cars at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda - May 2-4, 2014.
... notes from The EDJE