Rounds 3 and 4 of Single-Make Series Set for Iconic Street Course
Porsche Carrera Cup North America: Long Beach Entry List
The streets of Southern California are familiar territory to the classic silhouette of the Porsche 911, but never before have the streets of Long Beach hosted so many of the iconic race-ready masterpieces at once. This weekend, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will stage 34 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars for a pair of 40-minute races on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary race course. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend is the first time the all-Porsche race series will compete in California and the debut of the second-year series on a street circuit.
With the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (PECLA) and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) headquartered in nearby Carson, California, the grandfather of all temporary race courses in the United States is a natural home for the one-make series. Races will be run at 1:45 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:20 p.m. Sunday, the third and fourth rounds of the 16-race season.
What’s New? Fan Activation: The Porsche Carrera Cup paddock will be housed in the Long Beach Convention Center, allowing fans an up-close look at the cars as well as interaction with the teams and drivers that make up the series. Visitors to the paddock will be able to enjoy a firsthand look as the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars are prepped before and between each session.
Split Qualifying: The large field on the shorter, tighter Long Beach course necessitated a change to qualifying. Porsche and IMSA officials have declared that the 34 entries will be split into two qualifying groups: Pro-Am and Am classes in one group and Pro in a second group during the 30-minute session. The 19 cars in the combined Pro-Am and Am group will take to the track for the first half of the session starting at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday. They will be followed by the 15 Pro drivers for the second half of the session. All cars will be gridded based on time within their class.
Porsche 911 GT3 Safety Car: The road-going sibling of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car racing at Long Beach, the Porsche 911 GT3 will act as the safety car for the pair of Porsche Carrera Cup rounds. Supplied by PECLA, the 911 GT3 continues the tradition of transferring what is learned on the racetrack directly to cars designed for the road. Making use of extensive lightweight materials, refined aerodynamics and a motorsports-derived, double-wishbone front-axle layout, the new 911 GT3 is a real-world example of the Porsche mantra: “Racing improves the breed.”
A naturally aspirated 4.0-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine that revs to 9,000 rpm is at the heart of the car. Generating up to 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft (pound-feet) of torque, the engine is virtually identical to the unit found in the 911 GT3 Cup race car. Acceleration is race-ready and fit to pace the field with a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and top speed in excess of 195 mph.
Entry List, 34 Cars (Pro 15, Pro-Am 12, Am 7): Pro class points leader Kay van Berlo in the No. 3 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car leads the way. Van Berlo, who was a close runner-up in the inaugural season of the championship in 2021, had a nearly clean sweep of the 2022 season opener at Sebring last month. He won both pole positions, both races and set the fastest race lap in Round 1. He was narrowly bettered for fastest race lap in Round 2 by teammate Riley Dickinson in the No. 53. Dickinson is second in points just ahead of JDX Racing’s Parker Thompson.
The Pro-Am class sees Alan Metni in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 leading after he finished first and second in the Sebring races. The Am class, open to drivers 57 and older, had a repeat performer in both Sebring rounds. Mark Kvamme piloted his No. 43 MDK Motorsports Porsche to twin wins in Florida but comes to California with six other Am class contenders looking to knock him off the top step.
Local Talent: Four drivers have direct ties to the state of California. Adam Adelson, driver of the Pro class No. 24 Premier Racing Porsche, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and lives and works in Los Angeles. TJ Fischer lives in Vacaville and drives the No. 58 Topp Racing Porsche, also in the Pro class. Newport Beach’s Hutton McKenna is in his second season piloting the No. 88 Pro-class Porsche for Wright Motorsports. Kyle Washington is from Indio, California, and races the No. 32 Pro-Am class car for Santa Ana-based GMG Racing.
Troy Bundy, One-Make and GT Sport Manager, Porsche Motorsport North America: “Southern California is home for Porsche Motorsport in North America, so it is only natural we take this opportunity to race in front of one of our largest customer bases and a wildly enthusiastic fan base. Long Beach is internationally recognized as one of the foremost city circuits, so there is no better place to make our street course debut with the Porsche Carrera Cup North America than here in our own backyard. The challenges of racing here are not small; almost every part of putting on an event at a street course is unique. However, our Carrera Cup customer teams and drivers, as well as our corporate partners, know the value of being here. It is extremely exciting and gratifying to be asked to be a part of this event and have the opportunity to connect to the local fans both on track and off the track. We look forward to putting on a great show.”