EVENT: BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, Round 3 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 100 minute race
TRACK: Located in the streets of downtown Long Beach, California, the circuit has 11 corners and is 1.986 miles in length.
LIVE ON FOX – Saturday, April 8 at 4:00 PM ET
Radio Coverage: www.radiolemans.com
DRIVER LINE-UP: Marc Goossens (Belgium), Renger van der Zande (Netherlands)
TEAM HISTORY AT LONG BEACH: In three starts at Long Beach, VISIT FLORIDA Racing’s best finish came in the form of a podium in 2015 when drivers Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante combined for a third place finish. Having campaigned the No. 90 Corvette DP in the three previous races, the 2017 event marks the first for the team with the LMP2.
2014: Started 6th & Finished 5th (Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante)
2015: Started 4th & Finished 3rd (Richard Westbrook, Michael Valiante)
2016: Started 7th & Finished 6th (Marc Goossens, Ryan Hunter-Reay)
PODIUM FINISHES AT LONG BEACH FOR GOOSSENS & VAN DER ZANDE: Marc Goossens has made three previous starts at the Long Beach street circuit. He raced for SRT in a Viper in 2013 and 2014 with a podium finish of third in 2013. He campaigned a Corvette Daytona Prototype for VISIT FLORIDA Racing in last year’s race in which the team finished sixth.
Renger van der Zande made his first start at Long Beach last year driving in the PC class for Starworks Motorsport in which he took a podium result of second.
THUNDER THURSDAY: The No. 90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing Riley-Gibson will be on display Thursday evening with drivers Marc Goossens and Renger van der Zande signing autographs from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM. The event will be held for the first time at The Pike Outlets on Shoreline Drive, west of Pine Avenue. Thunder Thursday begins at 6:30 PM and features freestyle motocross demonstrations, motorcycle stunts, live music, a car show, beer garden, and driver autographs.
New in 2017: With all-new regulations for the top Prototype class in 2017, VISIT FLORIDA Racing fields a Gibson-powered Riley Mk. 30. The Gibson engine is a normally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8, and is the specification engine for all competitors in the World Endurance Championship LMP2 category. Riley Technologies has an unparalleled history in the sport, and the Rolex 24 At Daytona marked the competition debut for the Mk. 30.
Chassis – Multimatic / Riley Carbon Fiber semi stressed engine
Safety equipment – Crushable Nose box, 6 point safety harness, Onboard fire suppression system, Air conditioned cockpit for driver safety and comfort.
Transmission – X-Trac six-speed sequential, paddle operated rear wheel drive.
Addition of Michael Harvey: Prior to the 2017 season, VISIT FLORIDA Racing added Michael Harvey to the team as Director of Race Operations. Harvey, who has a long and varied range of experience in the sport, most recently managed the competition efforts for Fall-Line Motorsports’ multiple-championship winning programs in IMSA and SCCA competition as well as serving as a Series Director for the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series.
New Partners for 2017: In addition to longtime partner VISIT FLORIDA, VISIT FLORIDA Racing has partnered with: Speed Chills, iRacing, Motegi Racing, Riley Technologies, Go Puck, GoPro, Burt & Scheld, Under Armour, and Whelen.
MARC GOOSSENS: “As a street circuit, there is no room for error at Long Beach because the track is lined with concrete walls and they are not very forgiving. As a team we need to keep working hard to find some more competitiveness and good driveability over the bumpy streets, and we are doing just that. Of course it is a much shorter race than Daytona and Sebring were and maybe a great strategy can make the difference here as well. Track position will be very important.
RENGER VAN DER ZANDE: “I finished second at Long Beach last year which was great. It’s such a cool place – I like it a lot. It’s only a two-day event and it’s great because we get to be there with the IndyCar Series. It’s a short race and I think that will make us think about the strategy as we go into the race. I think we’ll need to be creative in terms of strategy and that will be important to fight for a good result. The VISIT FLORIDA Racing team has worked really hard on the car since Sebring. There is still some speed to be found in the car and I hope that through the research and the development that we’ve done at the shop and together with our partners we will have a great car at Long Beach. I’m happy to get back in the LMP2 after racing some GTs in Europe and I can’t wait to get started.”