As the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship continues following the two of the longest races of the year, significant changes in both scene and format will be evident at Saturday’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on the streets of Long Beach, California. Moving from 24/12 hour events to shorter sprint type events, we will see a reduction in driver line-ups and car classes in addition to much different race strategies compared to the longer events.
Marking the shortest event on the 2014 calendar, the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach is 100 minutes and traverses the picturesque streets of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit. A much smaller is expected as only two classes of cars will compete during Saturday’s race, compared to the four classes at the two previous races this year. The TUDOR field is slated to have 22 entrants including 12 prototypes and 10 GT Le Mans cars. Traffic at Long Beach is always a factor however with a smaller field of two professional classes; racing is expected to be close.
When asked about the difference between the previous two events compared to Long Beach, team owner Mike Shank stated, “You couldn’t pick a more different kind of race, going from the 12 and 24 hours at Sebring and Daytona to this race on Saturday, where everything will play out in just 100 minutes,” he continued, “It kind of reminds me of our sprint races in Atlantics, and I think the intensity will be exciting for the fans. Having Long Beach back on our schedule is something we’ve all been wanting for a long time and hopefully we can put on a good show for everyone.”
With driver line-ups reduced, brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor will share driving duties for first time in the championship-winning No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Chevrolet Corvette Dallara Daytona Prototype as Max Angelelli steps out of his full-time co-driving duties to focus on the four events of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. When asked how he felt about his brother Ricky being the only other co-driver, Jordan stated “It’ll be really cool. We drove together already this year at Daytona and Sebring, and it was a good transition to have Max (Angelelli) driving with us those two races to help us get used to working with each other. This will be the first true test of how Ricky and I truly work together. Basically it’ll be just us two with Brian (Pillar, engineer), Max and my dad working with us and sharing their different points of view. We’ll do our best to steer the car (setup) in the direction it needs to go. So far, at Daytona and Sebring, all went well.”
Extreme Speed Motorsports’ Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel are set to co-drivers of the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b. Following a second-place finish at the 12 Hours of Sharp and Dalziel seek their first win of the season and second win at the circuit as both drivers have previous wins at Long Beach, Sharp in 2013 and Dalziel in 2012. “I am super excited to bring our Tequila Patrón HPD prototypes back to Long Beach – the pre-eminent street circuit for more than 25 years and one of my favorites on the schedule.” stated Sharp. Long Beach is a special place to Ryan Dalziel “I love Long Beach. It’s a really special place for me because I made my U.S., racing debut at Long Beach back in 2002, plus it always falls on or around my birthday. Long Beach is a great city with an amazing atmosphere, so any chance to race there is really cool.” he stated.
A condensed weekend schedule will see a two-hour practice held early Friday morning ahead of an evening practice and a 15-minute qualifying session. The green flag will drop on the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase Saturday, April 12th at 6:10 PM (ET).
The 100-minute race will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 6:00 PM (ET). MRN Radio will also carry live coverage of the event. Stay up to date with all of your TUDOR United SportsCar Championship news with OpenPaddock.net