Cadillac Racing Triumphs at 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Cadillac Racing's Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais clinch strategic victory at the 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, as Porsche Penske Motorsport takes the GTP points lead.

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Salman Khan
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Cadillac Racing Triumphs at 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Cadillac Racing Triumphs at 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Cadillac Racing drivers Renger van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais emerged victorious in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP race at the 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday. The duo piloted their Cadillac V-LMDh to a narrow 0.564-second win over the Whelen Cadillac Racing pair of Jack Aitken and Pipo Derani, despite numerous cautions and collisions during the 100-minute race.

The race saw intense battles throughout the field, with Derani securing pole position in a damaged Cadillac. However, a critical strategic decision by the Chip Ganassi Racing team to forgo a tire change during their pit stop allowed Bourdais and van der Zande to leapfrog the No. 31 Cadillac and maintain the lead for the remainder of the race.

Van der Zande, who led the final 34 laps, held off a late challenge from Aitken to secure the victory. "The tires were pretty old at the end," van der Zande admitted. The win marked Cadillac's sixth premier prototype category victory in the past seven IMSA races at Long Beach and the 30th overall since joining the prototype class in 2017.

The No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963, driven by Felipe Nasr and Dane Cameron, rounded out the podium in third place, taking sole possession of the GTP points lead. Derani, reflecting on the championship battle, stated, "It's going to come down to a little at the end. We're happy to have two podiums in the first three races."

Why this matters: The 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach showcased the intense competition and strategic decision-making that define the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. As the season progresses, the battle for the championship title is expected to intensify, with Cadillac Racing and Porsche Penske Motorsport emerging as early frontrunners.

In the GTD class, the Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, driven by Parker Thompson and Ben Barnicoat, dominated the race, finishing 1.449 seconds ahead of the Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3. The challenging street circuit saw six cars, two in GTP and four in GTD, fail to finish the race due to various incidents. As the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship moves forward, teams will undoubtedly analyze their strategies and performances to gain an edge in the highly competitive series.

Key Takeaways

  • Cadillac Racing's van der Zande and Bourdais won the IMSA GTP race at Long Beach.
  • Chip Ganassi Racing's strategic tire decision allowed Cadillac to take the lead.
  • Porsche Penske's Nasr and Cameron finished 3rd, taking the GTP points lead.
  • Vasser Sullivan Lexus dominated the GTD class, with 6 cars failing to finish.
  • The intense competition and strategic decisions defined the IMSA race at Long Beach.