The Track: The streets of Long Beach provide a unique street racing experience, with high speed, sweeping corners, both of which are atypical of a temporary street course. The 1.968-mile track reflects 11 traditional corners including the famous Turn 11 hairpin which exits onto the slightly curved front straightaway along Shoreline Drive’s waterfront.
Race Length: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Car: No. 57 Audi R8 LMS
Drivers: Lawson Aschenbach & Andrew Davis
Driver Experience: Although the Stevenson Motorsports team has yet to make an appearance through the streets of Long Beach, both drivers of the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS have mastered the iconic street circuit while competing in other series.
Lawson Aschenbach is not short of experience at the Long Beach circuit although he will be making his IMSA debut start at the track this weekend. Aschenbach has made several Pirelli World Challenge starts at Long Beach. Some of his Long Beach PWC highlights include qualifying on the pole in 2011 with C360R and a GTS class win in 2013 racing for Blackdog Speed Shop.
Andrew Davis will also be making his first start with the IMSA series at Long Beach, but has competed at the California circuit in the Pirelli World Challenge.
First Sprint Format Event of the Year: The IMSA BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach will be the first sprint format event of the season. Following the traditional “36 Hours of Florida” with the Rolex 24 and Sebring 12 events, the Stevenson Motorsports crew is set to focus on the short 1 hour and 40-minute race with the team’s two full-season IMSA WeatherTech drivers, Andrew Davis and Lawson Aschenbach.
“After focusing on IMSA’s two longest endurance events, it’s exciting to get back into the sprint race format,” said Andrew Davis. “This race, being one of the shortest of the season at 100 minutes, will make things very fast paced and exciting for all of us.”
Sole Full-Season Audi Entry: Stevenson Motorsports will look to bring the brand success as the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS is the sole Audi Sport customer racing machine in the 35-car IMSA field. Stevenson Motorsports is the only Audi team to compete in IMSA for the full season – showing not only the R8 LMS’s potential, but also the desire and strength of the team. Ahead of Long Beach, the team looks to impress against seven other manufacturers competing in the event.
Lawson Aschenbach: “Long Beach is one of the Crown Jewels of the IMSA season and it’s one of my favorite street courses. It has a little bit of everything – high speed corners, low speed corners, bumps, heavy brake zones and more. It’s challenging, with no room for error, so as a driver you need to be at the top of your game. I feel the Audi will perform well in our first sprint race. Maximizing the downforce advantage to attack the brake zones and high speed sections will be key. The car seems to work well on all types of tracks so I’m confident we will be able to fight for the win.”
Andrew Davis: “Long Beach is such a historic American race, and the crowd that attends the event is large and knowledgeable about our sport. The track itself is extremely fast in comparison to a typical street circuit, with an enormous front straight and some very quick corners. A lap around the course is certainly exhilarating, as the walls seem to close in once at speed. There is no room for error, so the challenge of being perfect behind the wheel really pushes the driver’s limit. The key to keeping things together really falls on the shoulders of our exceptional crew. I am forever confident that when I slide behind the wheel, the car is ready to run until the checkered flag regardless of the length of the race!”
Source. Sunday Group