Night and Day
Endurance races are to sprint races as international speedways are to street courses; as different as night and day.
Performance Tech Motorsports is working night and day to make a seamless transition from endurance racing to street course, sprint racing in the form of a one hour and forty-minute Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The team walked away from its last California adventure with a first-place finish in the Prototype Challenge class. As Performance Tech heads outside of its home state for the first time this season, Team Principal Brent O’Neill is preparing for the challenges of racing a new car on an old foe.
“Long Beach is always a battle, but its also always been good to us” O’Neill said. “The trick is to keep the car clean and stay out of trouble, which I know Kyle and James can do. All guys are prepared for this race.”
“Our biggest problem with the new car has been BOP. We’re really hoping to see the BOP move in our favor this race. If we do I think we could do really well. If not, well we’ll have a battle on our hands but I still think we could make something happen. Street courses can be a great equalizer because of all the different challenges they bring.”
While James French of, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is a veteran to both the Long Beach track and podium, teammate Kyle Masson, Windemere, will be making his Long Beach debut. To be successful Masson must pull from past street course experience. That experience includes back-to-back wins at the Grand Prix du Trois Rivières with the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series.
Masson’s impressive consistency paired with French’s past success promises a good showing in front of a crowd with a few important faces. This weekend the No. 38 will be joined by Restitute Health alongside Centinel Spine. Together they hope to educate paddock members and race fans alike about the importance of spine health.
“We all get busy, so it’s easy to put off our health when nothing’s wrong,” O’Neill said, “but you know eventually something will go wrong, that’s life. It’s easy to understand why Restitute Health has this mission to help people prepare, we all need to be better at it. I’m happy to support them and hopefully educate people more just like we’re helping Centinel Spine do.”
The No. 38 Centinel Spine/Restitute Health ORECA LMP2 and the IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar Championship are sharing the stage with IndyCar and Pirelli World Challenge at Long Beach. The weekend begins with Thunder Thursday at the Pike Outlets Thursday, April 12. Fans can see their favorite cars up close and meet the drivers including French and Masson from 8-9 p.m. PT. At the top of the hour, from 7-9 p.m., fans can watch the Performance Tech crew perform pit stop demonstrations.
The following day, Friday, April 13 fans can enjoy two test sessions and qualifying trackside. Race action begins Saturday, April 14, at 1:05 p.m. local time. The Bubba Burger Grand Prix of Long Beach is broadcast live from 4 PM to 6 PM ET with FOX, FOX Sports GO and IMSA.tv supporting the race through its entirety.
Qualifying: 9:00 - 9:15 p.m. ET
Green Flag: 4:05 p.m.ET
Checkered Flag: 5:45 p.m. ET
WeatherTech Tune In
FOX: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET