APRIL 17, 2019
Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 01:23PM
Editor
(Michelin)
Filipe Albuquerque and co-driver Joao Barbosa (No. 5 Action Express Mustang Sampling GM Racing/Cadillac DPi-Michelin) won Saturday’s 100-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. Albuquerque had his mirrors full of Ricky Taylor (No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi-Michelin) throughout the final 30 minutes of the race. As the laps wound down, Taylor – a three-time Long Beach winner – got right under Albuquerque’s rear wing a couple of times, especially within the last 15 minutes of the race. Albuquerque had some good luck with GTLM traffic over the closing laps, which gave him just enough breathing room to get away. He crossed the finish line 0.740 seconds ahead of Taylor to score the second consecutive Long Beach victory for himself and co-driver Joao Barbosa. Taylor’s No. 7 co-driver Helio Castroneves started the race from the pole position and took the lead at the drop of the green flag. He lost two positions, however, after inadvertently pressing the car’s pit-lane speed limiter. Nevertheless, the team battled back for its second podium in three races this season and made up valuable ground in the DPi championship battle as other title contenders encountered trouble. Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron made it two Acuras on the podium, taking third in the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi-Michelin
(Michelin) 
Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor (No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR - Michelin) won the GTLM class at Long Beach as Porsche’s stellar start to the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season continued Saturday afternoon at the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix.
 Bamber made the winning pass with 45 minutes remaining when race-leader Dirk Mueller accidentally hit the pit-lane speed limiter button in his No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT - Michelin. Mueller was able to close the deficit at times throughout the race’s final stint, but was unable to regain the lead. On the race’s final lap, Mueller’s car stumbled coming out of Turn 8 and was turned into the wall by the No. 3 Corvette C7.R - Michelin of Jan Magnussen and ultimately finished fourth. With the win, Bamber and Vanthoor moved into the GTLM class points lead, 91-87, over their No. 911 Porsche teammates and the defending champion duo of the No. 3 Corvette Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. The last-lap contact between Mueller and Magnussen moved the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R to second, despite limping to the finish with significant damage to the front bumper. The team’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R-Michelin of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin made it through the incident to finish third. The Corvette Racing team now heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 5 in search of its elusive 100th career IMSA win more than one year after earning its 99th at Long Beach. “The end was pretty crazy with the (No.) 66 running out of fuel ahead of me,” said Magnussen. “I thought I was going to get stuck behind him, so I had to get on the throttle full to push him out of the way to get that last half-lap back to the checkered flag. Corvette Racing did a fantastic job setting the car up and thinking about what we needed at the end of the race. I don’t know if we had the best car, but it was close. I’m super happy today. For sure we’d like to get a win soon. We’ve caught up in the championship so it’s a good day.”
(Pirelli)
Lewis Hamilton (No. 44 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport) won the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, the 1000th Formula One world championship race. Hamilton celebrated his 75th win from 232 starts, and Mercedes its third consecutive one-two (Valterri Bottas was second in the No. 77 
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport) – the first time a team has opened a season so strongly since the all-conquering Williams of 1992. Sebastian Vettel (No. 5 Scuderia Ferrari) finished third after the Ferrari team ordered his teammate Charles Leclerc (No. 16 Scuderia Ferrari) to move over and let Vettel by. This was classic F1 Bush League Bullshit, as LeClerc was clearly faster. LeClerc ended up fifth.
(Donald Page/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing AUTO OWNERS INSURANCE Toyota Camry) won Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. It was his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory on a short track in his 81st try and his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing since moving from now-defunct Furniture Row Racing between seasons. At the same time, Truex gave JGR its third straight victory in NASCAR’s top series and sixth in nine races this season. Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske SHELL PENNZOIL Ford Mustang) finished .178 seconds behind the race winner, as Gibbs and Team Penske maintained their stranglehold on NASCAR's premier division. Penske drivers Logano and Brad Keselowski triumphed in the three races JGR hasn’t won. “It means a lot to break through, especially here at Richmond,” said Truex, who won for the first time this season and the 20th time in his career. “I’ve always really enjoyed this track. I’ve always loved coming here. The short track win–everybody kept asking me when it was going to happen. I was struggling the last 40 laps. I had no front tire and got real tight that last run. I just had to hold them off. Thanks to the pit crew—they had a great night. I’m just really happy to get our first win with Gibbs. First short-track win is pretty awesome, too. “Tonight, we didn’t have the best car, but we’ve lost here with the best car a bunch of times. We just fought and battled. Being out front was just the key.” Clint Boyer (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing HAAS AUTOMATION Ford Mustang) finished third.
(MotoGP)
Alex Rins (No. 42 Team Suzuki Ecstar) secured Suzuki’s first MotoGP™ win since the 2016 British GP after edging out Valentino Rossi (No. 46 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to an extraordinary win at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. Marc Marquez (No. 93 Repsol Honda Team) crashed out of the lead, while Jack Miller (No. 43 Pramac Racing Ducati) finished third to take his first Ducati podium. 
(Photo by John Cote/INDYCAR)
Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Andretti Autosport NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda Turbo V6) dominated the Acura GP of Long Beach on Sunday, leading 80 of the 85 laps. It was first win of the season and sixth of his IndyCar career. It was also his second Long Beach victory in a row. "We were able to get a race car I was really happy with," Rossi said. "Winning the pole is huge come Sunday because it allows you to hopefully be in front leaving Turn 1 and really just control the race from there. It's awesome to be able to kickstart our year." Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Team Penske HITACHI Chevrolet Turbo V6) finished second, and Graham Rahal (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan TOTAL Honda Turbo V6) finished third but would lose that position after Race Control called Rahal for blocking Scott Dixon 
(No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing PNC BANK Honda Turbo V6) on the last lap. Dixon was elevated to third, his third podium of the year and 108th podium of his major-open wheel career. 
(Photo by Albert Wong)
A capacity crowd filled the room at the April, 11, RRDC Evening with David Hobbs Presented by Firestone, which included auto racing dignitaries, corporate executives and champion race-car drivers. Hobbs, an accomplished driver and TV commentator, was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club, prior to the running of the 45th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was the RRDC's 11th consecutive annual banquet honoring auto racing's most influential leaders. Previous honorees were Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, Jim Hall, Brian Redman, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, George Follmer, Emerson Fittipaldi and Johnny Rutherford. Andretti and Follmer were in the audience to help recognize the newest member of this elite group. 

On behalf of Firestone Racing, which has been the presenting sponsor of the RRDC "Evenings" for 10 years, Lisa Boggs, Director, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports, said, "A couple of months ago we announced that we are committed to the NTT INDYCAR Series to at least 2025 . So many of you in this room are the reason we were able to make that announcement. So many of you have built the legacy that is IndyCar, the unparalleled legacy worldwide that our brand has been able to build on. Great stories, great moments, great on-track action; it's all that that allows us to do it," adding, "These evenings have always provided a lot of humor, so I have no doubt that with Mr. Rahal and Mr. Hobbs we'll see that in spades tonight."
 A short video written and voiced by Sam Posey, Hobbs' longtime friend and rival, captured his remarkable life as a driver in nearly every discipline of motorsports, as well as his stint as a television commentator. 

RRDC President Bobby Rahal then "interrogated" Hobbs on his colorful career in the style of "Late Night with David Letterman." 
Rahal covered the gamut of Hobbs' 60 years in the sport, since Hobbs first raced his mum's Morris Oxford in 1959. They discussed his 20 starts at Le Mans without a victory, his brief Formula 1 career, and his time in the Formula 5000, Trans-Am, Can-Am and IMSA series. His "unfiltered" quips and honest comments about the team owners he's driven for and his rivals on the track throughout the years entertained the audience - not unexpected from the 1971 Formula 5000 and 1983 Trans-Am champion known for his "Hobbs-isms" on air and on the stage. "We're really pleased to be here tonight to honor a great driver, a great friend and a great spokesman for the sport we love so much," said Rahal. "Some people may think David is just a TV personality, but he actually did drive racing cars for a long time. He raced a huge array of cars on both sides of the Atlantic - all across the world, for that matter - with enviable success in Formula 5000 and Trans-Am, and then embarked on nearly 40 years on TV. He's probably one of our most popular and recognizable figures."  
 
NBCSports TV commentator Leigh Diffey, with whom Hobbs shared the broadcast booth covering Formula 1 from 2013-2017, joined Hobbs and Rahal on stage. "He did 20 24 Hours of Le Mans, he did the Indy 500, he did the Daytona 500, he's the Formula 5000 champion," said Diffey. "He's done endless things around the world, but he never talks about himself. He's a jokester, he's a funny man, but he's very, very humble. He would've liked to have won bigger events, but I think maybe that's the person he is." On receiving this recognition, Hobbs said, "Being the honoree here tonight has been one of the biggest things that's happened to me in 60 years of racing and I still really do feel so honored to be with people like Bobby Unser, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones. To me, it all seems wrong. I shouldn't really be here, because those were true greats of racing. I feel so honored to be honored tonight, so thank you very much." 

Featured on the patio during the cocktail reception sponsored by American Honda was the BMW 320i Turbo, run in conjunction with McLaren Engines, that Hobbs drove to four wins in the IMSA series in 1977, courtesy of BMW of North America. Also on display was the Bayside Disposal Racing Porsche 962 that Hobbs raced with Bruce Leven and Bob Wollek in IMSA in 1984-85. Rahal recognized event sponsors Firestone, American Honda, Porsche Cars North America, Doug Mockett & Company, Team Penske, TranSystems, Trefethen Family Vineyards and Jimmy Vasser's V12 Vineyards. The dinner's proceeds help support the RRDC's young driver initiatives, including its groundbreaking SAFEisFAST.com presented by Honda program, and the Team USA Scholarship, which the RRDC has backed since 1997. Team USA is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. (Thank you to Judy Stropus for the coverage.)


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