IMSA WeatherTech Sports Cars take over Long Beach in thrilling race


Ricky Taylor and Bryan Sellers battle it out in turns 9 and 10 during the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14, 2023.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is only 100 minutes, but it seems to always deliver great racing for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. This past weekend the IMSA Sports Cars took the streets of Long Beach for round three of the season as Nick Tandy,  Mathieu Jaminet, and Porsche Penske Motorsport scored their first GTP win in the series. 

As for the other classes, Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat take first place in the GTD Pro class in the Lexus RC F GT3 car. In the GTD class, Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow win in the BMW M4 GT3. 

The GTP class always puts on a great show, and Saturday was no different. Ricky Taylor and Mathieu Jaminet had an epic battle for the lead late in the race, going back and forth for almost 20 minutes.

Later with nine minutes to go, Taylor made a huge move at turn eight to take the overall lead. Eventually, Jaminet took the lead right back on Shoreline Drive and set up an amazing battle to the finish with two minutes to go. 

With two laps to go, Taylor had a massive run heading into turn one to take the lead, but he went in too hard and crashed into the tires. Jaminet cruised to the finish line and won. What a crazy finish to an all-time battle in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. 

The two other classes on the track were dominated from start to finish and there wasn’t as much action as the GTP cars. Hawksworth and Barnicoat never had to worry about other competitors chasing them. In addition, Sellers and Snow had a great battle early in the race but other than that, it was smooth sailing for the GTD Pro and GTD class winners.

Is IMSA becoming the premier sports car series?

IMSA is climbing up to be one of the best racing series on the planet, simply because of the racing it has produced over the last couple of years. This past weekend showed that this series is very competitive, and the competition gets tighter as the season goes on. With major races on the schedule like the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 hours of Sebring, IMSA is growing in popularity year after year. 

Round four of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship will take place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on May 14, 2023.