Indycar, appointment in Long Beach over the weekend: timetables on Sky Sport

Three weeks after the intense final of the XPel375, won by Josef Newgarden in a sprint, the IndyCar paddock is preparing to run the second city race of the championship on a track that embodies the essence of stars and stripes racing. The Long Beach Grand Prixin fact, it has a traditional value given by the fact that this event has been running since 1975, the year in which Brian Redman won the Formula 5000 race. After that it was the turn of Formula 1, which went to the famous Californian track from 1976 to 1983, followed first by CART and then from the Champ Car which in 2008, right in Long Beach, ran the last race of its – short – history before finally joining the IndyCar Series.

From 1975 to 2021 the Long Beach GP was not raced in a single edition, the 2020, canceled due to the pandemic. Lhe event returned to the IndyCar calendar in 2021 by hosting the last race of the championship on Sunday 26 September: Colton Herta’s victory and Alex Palou’s title. The 2022 edition returns to run at early Apriltraditional period for the Long Beach Grand Prix since the Formula 1 races.

The starting grid

I’m twenty-six the pilots entered in this weekend’s GP, the same ones who raced in the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. Unlike Texas, JR Hildebrand and Ed Carpenter will not race: Hildebrand (AJ Foyt Racing) leaves room for Tatiana Calderón – a driver engaged exclusively in city and road races – while Carpenter will return to driving the third car of his team on the occasion of the Indy500.

The characteristics of the track

There are seven track designs used between 1975 and today. In every layout, the famous section of the Shoreline Drive was never missing, as well as the difficult hairpin bend of the gasometer, the slowest point of the circuit. The last major changes were made between 1999 and 2000when the first sequence of curves was replaced by the fountain complex, symbol of the large aquarium inaugurated in 1998. Furthermore, the modification of the first sector involved the insertion of the new curves four and five, followed by the straight that today leads to the curves cranked number six-seven and eight. The track currently measures 1,968 miles (3,167 km), a distance that will be covered on Sunday for a total of eighty-five laps.

Roll of honor and statistics

Moving on to the roll of honor, the driver who holds the record for victories in the Long Beach street circuit is Al Unser Jr, entered Victory Lane six times between 1988 and 1995. Currently there are seven pilots in business to boast at least one triumph in Long Beach: Will Power and Alexander Rossi have won two editions while Hélio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and Colton Herta are at one. Among the teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske prevail thanks to the six hits. However, both sides have not won since 2015 (Scott Dixon) and 2016 (Simon Pagenaud) respectively. The last three editions have been won by Andretti Autosport, winning team also in 2010 and 2011. Since the debut of the new IR-18 package, Michael Andretti’s team has dominated in Long Beach, a track on which the team has all hopes for wake up from the nightmare lived in Texas.

Turning to qualifications the record holder is Hélio Castroneves, started in front of everyone four times. In the entry list of the Long Beach GP there are three other poleman: Will Power, Alexander Rossi and Josef Newgarden. In addition, in ten editions the driver who started from first place won the race: Alexander Rossi was the last to convert the pole into victory in the 2019 edition. To close the statistics chapter, we remind you that five drivers won their first career race in Long Beach Citizen: Michael Andretti (1986), Paul Tracy (1993), JP Montoya (1999), Mike Conway (2011) and Takuma Sato (2013). For Michael Andretti, current team owner, Long Beach is a special place having won both the first and last races (1986-2002).

The drivers’ classification before the third round

Speaking of the current championship, the ranking sees in head Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske) by a margin of twenty-eight points on Will Power, teammate. Third was reigning champion Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) with sixty-seven points, followed closely by Texas winner Josef Newgarden. Marcus Ericsson is fifth in the championship with a three-point margin over Scott Dixon, still on the hunt for his first success of the season, while from seventh to tenth place we find Rinus VeeKay, Colton Herta, Simon Pagenaud and Romain Grosjean, the latter being tenth on equal points with Jimmie Johnson, fresh from the excellent race in Texas. To see the complete drivers classification, we refer you to the official IndyCar website.

The appointments on Sky Sport F1 (channel 207)

Saturday 9 April:

  • Free practice: 5.45 pm
  • Qualifications: 9.15 pm

Sunday 10 April:

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