Action Express Racing and Cadillac are looking to take their second straight win in IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship competition this weekend as the series heads south to Long Beach, California.
Not only will AXR and Cadillac be looking to take their second IMSA win in a row after they won the grueling 12 Hours of Sebring in March, but the team’s No. 5 squad also heads to the streets of Long Beach as the defending racer winners from last year.
“Last year, I really enjoyed the environment, and I loved the track since my first lap,” said driver of the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, Felipe Albuquerque. “It was fantastic to be in an endurance car between walls. It reminded me of times sprint racing in DTM and formula cars. I didn’t really know what to expect before Long Beach, but since I won, I love the sprint races even more! My approach to learning the track worked well, and I will keep fine-tuning that even more this year.”
Joao Barbosa, who shares the No. 5 car with Albuquerque, had the same attitude as his teammate toward the 1.9-mile, 11-turn Long Beach street circuit.
“I can’t wait to go back,” he said. “I like the track and it is so cool that we take the races to the fans there. There is a lot of chance for them to interact with what we are doing. Obviously IndyCar is big there but I love that we can go and showcase what IMSA sportscars are all about and make some new friends for our sport.”
Albuquerque and Barbosa’s 2018 victory came after starting fifth on the grid. Despite a less than ideal qualifying session, the team showed strong race pace and executed the right strategy to put the car up front with 31 laps to go, after which Albuquerque controlled the pace and took the checkered flag. The pair’s AXR teammates, Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, finished seventh in class.
Fellow GM team Corvette Racing will also be looking to stand atop the podium in Long Beach this weekend and rack up its 100th win in IMSA competition. The team’s 99th win came at Long Beach last year.
You can catch the 2019 IMSA BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix from Long Beach on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET. Race fans can also follow the action via IMSA Radio, which can be accessed through RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio.