Sixth-place class finish for Inception Racing despite a spin on the streets of Long Beach
Despite a spin from a GTD rival on the entry into the hairpin, arguably one of the slowest corners on the IMSA calendar, Inception Racing claim a sixth-place class finish at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the first of the seven Sprint rounds.
With overtaking proving to be difficult on the barrier-lined city streets, a good qualifying performance was critical to any teams’ chance of a strong finish. Friday evening’s 15-minute session proved to be just as action-packed as the race that was to follow, with not just one, but two GTD entries in the wall at Turn 8. The unrelated incidences saw qualifying end prematurely, thus meaning Brendan was to line-up ninth on the grid for the race start.
An eventful start further up the field in the newly-formed GTP class saw the #01 Cadillac leap over the curbs at the entry into Turn 1 into the barriers opposite, seeing the race fall under the first of two Yellow Flag periods.
90 minutes on the clock and racing had resumed. As time began to pass by, as did the GTP field on both the GTD PRO and GTD classes. It was a hair-raising moment at the Hairpin laps later as Brendan got tapped from behind by the McIntosh-liveried #97 Turner Motorsport BMW, seeing a multi-car pile-up on the home straight. Fortunately, the only damage most cars involved received was to their track positions.
Teams began to anticipate their single scheduled mandatory pitstops and just as the race got to the 40-minute mark, Brendan boxed to hand the McLaren over to co-driver, Frederik.
Flying through the streets of Long Beach, Fred clocked the fastest time amongst all GT cars with a 1:18.864 - which was later claimed by the #66 Acura, as he hunted down the #78 Lamborghini Huracan ahead.
Ultimately, it was the final Yellow Flag period that, similarly to the day priors Qualifying session, ended the race prematurely due to Ricky Taylor’s misjudgement at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap. Frederik crossed the line to claim sixth in class and valuable points towards the teams’ and drivers’ championship. The IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship resumes next month at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on May 14.