Gounon and Juncadella to run LB streets for first time
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 11, 2023) - WeatherTech Racing is heading to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, to run April 14-15.
The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support drivers Jules Gounon (France) and Daniel Juncadella (Spain) who will be competing on the 11-turn, 1.96-mile closed-street course that circulates around the Long Beach Convention Center for the first time. Not only is it the driver’s first view of the oceanside circuit the race is the shortest on the IMSA WeatherTech Championship schedule at just 100 minutes.
Coming into Long Beach, the team has posted a win at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and a third-place finish at the last race at Sebring. The two strong finishes have the team and drivers in first place in the GTD Pro standings.
“Long Beach, I have learned on the sim, looks like an amazing track,” Gounon said. “Short, and you are running very close to the walls. It will be very important to maximize the traction and rotation of our WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 car. I have won the Bathurst 12 hour three times, which is sort of a street course. I am really looking forward to running Long Beach. I am ready to get the IMSA WeatherTech sprint season started with Daniel. We have a good start to the season, and we will keep performing.”
Juncadella brings his street racing pedigree in Formula 3 to southern California.
“Long Beach is a new track for me,” Juncadella said. “I have been on the sim and watching online video to get an understanding of the layout. I have a pretty good history on street courses, I won the Macau Formula 3 race in 2011. I know how to experience the limits on street courses. I would compare Long Beach more to Pau (Circuit de Pau-Ville) in France, which is another famous street race. We have had a very good start on the season, and we are looking at keeping the momentum going as we start the sprint portion of the schedule.”
The Long Beach Grand Prix is the longest running major street race held in North America. It started in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race and became a Formula One event in 1976. The track is particularly noted for its last section, a sharp hairpin turn followed by a long, slightly curved front straightaway which runs the length of Shoreline Drive. The circuit is situated on the Long Beach waterfront and is lined with palm trees (especially along the front straightaway towards the Aquarium of the Pacific), making for a scenic track.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Long Beach Grand Prix will take the green flag on Saturday, April 15 at 5:05 pm ET. The race will be televised on the USA Network.