Team Penske IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race Report - Long Beach
Track: Long Beach Street Circuit
Race: Bubba Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach
Date: April 14, 2018
No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya
Overall Finish: 5th
Class Finish: 5th
Laps Completed: 70/70
Juan Pablo Montoya placed the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 on the pole position for the first time in team history, setting a new track record in the process. Montoya paced the field for the first 31 minutes before giving way to the No. 31 car as his handling began to deteriorate as the tires degraded. Montoya moved the No. 6 Acura back into the lead during pit cycles until he entered pit road at the 58-minute mark. A driver change put Dane Cameron behind the wheel for the remainder of the event. Unfortunately the long stint meant the No. 6 had to do a full 30-second stop for fuel that resulted in other competitors passing the Acura on pit road. This placed Cameron in the 10th overall position when he returned the car to the track. Cameron drove a smart second half of the event to push the No. 6 team to a fifth-place finish, the first top-five in Acura Team Penske history.
"It's a good feeling to get the first top-five for the Acura Team Penske program. Obviously we want better results than that but we have to remember we are only three races into this deal. I'm happy we were able to come through this one with no issues and put a few points on the board to get ourselves positioned for the sprint season. When you are in the front and the yellow comes out – and you know you can't make it to the end – there is that gamble of whether to pit or not. Unfortunately we ended up giving up some track position there which is important. Really cool to get the first pole for the program here in the backyard of Acura. Hopefully we can go to Mid-Ohio and get the first win in the Acura Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio." - Dane Cameron
No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor
Overall Finish: 7th
Class Finish: 7th
Laps Completed: 70/70
Despite qualifying fourth for Saturday's Bubba Burger Grand Prix at Long Beach, Helio Castroneves also broke the old track record to show the car had good pace to begin the event. Castroneves quickly moved into the third position on the opening lap and held that spot until hitting pit road at the 37-minute mark for service and a driver change to Ricky Taylor. Taylor, a three-time winner of the race, returned to the track in the fifth position, but made quick work of the two cars in front of him on the first lap to move into the third spot. On the last pit stop of the day for the No. 7 Acura team the call was made for fuel only to keep valuable track position for Taylor. The tire degradation proved to be too much as the handling began to go away on the Acura. Taylor was still able to turn some fast laps over the remaining laps to secure a sixth-place finish for the team.
"We started the weekend off with a good result with the 6 car getting the pole, which was great for the entire Acura Team Penske organization. Helio (Castroneves) did a great job in his first stint and we had a great two-stop strategy. That was an awesome call and it was executed really well. Unfortunately I think being at the back end of pit lane hurt us a bit and we couldn't beat the 5 car off pit road. We had decent pace throughout most of the run, but when the tires fell off at the end the last stint, which was more like a stint and a half, I just couldn't hold anyone off. We executed well and showed decent pace throughout the weekend, we just need to fine tune some details here and there to get our first win at Mid-Ohio." - Ricky Taylor