The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series heads to the historic 3.167km Long Beach Street Circuit this weekend for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is the 41st edition that has been held since playing host to USAC Formula 5000, Formula One, CART IndyCar/Champ Car and now the Verizon IndyCar Series and Formula E.


The Circuit

Long Beach Circuit

Date 17-19 April 2015 Lap Length 3.167km
Free Practice Session 1 Fri 12:30-13:15 Free Practice Session 2 Fri 15:45-14:30
Free Practice Session 3 Sat 10:00-10:45 Qualifying Sat 12:55-13:40
Pre-Race Warm-Up Sun 10:00-10:30 Race (80 laps) Sun 13:37-15:45

Session times quoted in Pacific Daylight Time (GMT – 07:00)


The Form Guide

If any driver on the IndyCar Series calendar wants to win a race it’s the Indianapolis 500 or the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

To this point, Team Penske has annihilated the field. All four Penske drivers sit in the top 10, with three points leader Juan Pablo Montoya, Hélio Castroneves and Will Power making up the top three.

James Hinchcliffe and Tony Kanaan are just behind them in the top five, but they need a strong run in Long Beach to break up the Penske trio. But with Power winning at Long Beach back in 2012, the team’s reign might continue in the 80-lap race.

Hinchcliffe comes to Long Beach full of confidence after picking up victory at last weekend’s chaotic inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

Of the drivers listed below in the entry list, one huge name will not be on the track. After two strong races to start the season, Simona de Silvestro will not be making her third appearance this weekend for Andretti Autosport in Long Beach. Currently sitting sixth in the Drivers Championship, de Silvestro doesn’t have the sponsorship to enter the third race of the year. That comes after she finished fourth in Louisiana for her first top 10 result this season.

Another driver who will not be competing at this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is last year’s winner Mike Conway, who is now racing for Toyota in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

As for the drivers still in the race, reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Power seems like the most likely driver to get Penske back in the winners circle. Just weeks after Montoya won the first round at St. Petersburg, Power comes in as one of only two drivers who have won at Long Beach, along with Takuma Sato.

Given the fact that Kanaan has cracked into the top 10 twice through the first two races, he’ll likely be another driver looking to make an impact. Regardless of who pulls out the victory on Sunday, the Long Beach Grand Prix looks set to be another action-packed race to set the stage for next month’s 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Images via Motorsport.com

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Michael Terminello

Journalist at MotorsportM8
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