IMSA Long Beach results: Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac wins without changing tires

For the second consecutive year, status quo was the winning tire strategy in the IMSA Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Electing to run the 100-minute race without a tire change, the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac leap-frogged the pole-sitter in the pits and held on for the victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The team took the lead when swapping Sebastien Bourdais for Renger van der Zande, who exited his stop ahead of the No. 31 Whelen Action Express Cadillac that led the first 25 laps after qualifying first.

IMSA LONG BEACH GP RESULTS: Click here for overall l By class

First place cycled back to van der Zande, who led the final 34 laps to win by 0.564 seconds over Jack Aitken (who teamed with Pipo Derani in the No. 31).

"I was just hanging on there," van der Zande told NBC Sports' Marty Snider after Ganassi's IMSA-record fourth victory at Long Beach. "This team is a fantastic team. This is how to win races, and I’m enjoying it."

It's the sixth premier prototype category victory for Cadillac in the past seven IMSA races at Long Beach.

Last year, the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry earned its first Grand Touring Prototype victory by also skipping a tire change.
As temperatures began to rise during the race, van der Zande said the Ganassi team waited until just before the stop to decide to run the race on one set, and it paid off in the team's first win in 11 months (since Laguna Seca last year).

"They made the right choice for sure," van der Zande said. “Strategy won this race. The tires were kind of gone at the end; it was quite slippery. But I’m very proud of my team.”

Despite having fresher tires on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course, Aitken said he was helpless trying to chase down van der Zande. "I was giving it everything, but it was a big call by the Ganassi guys to do it all on one set," Aitken told NBC Sports' Dillon Welch. "They jumped us on the stop. Passing here is so hard. I really tried, just couldn’t do it. Great drive from Renger."

In the GTD category, Ben Barnicoat and Parker Thompson (in his Long Beach debut) took the No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 to the victory.


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