Dale Coyne Racing with RWR’s Takuma Sato in the No.51 Nurtec ODT Honda is looking forward to this weekend’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the second street course event of the season.
The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner scored his best result of the season to date on the streets of St Pete in February so is hoping for a similarly strong result this weekend.
Long Beach holds very special memories for the Japanese driver as scored his first NTT IndyCar Series win here in 2013.
Speaking ahead of the race he said:
Long Beach is one of the iconic events in motorsport. It has a great history in racing, such an atmosphere with fans from all over the world with a large Japanese community on the west coast and fantastic restaurants, bars and so on. In addition, it’s a special place for me too as I achieved my first IndyCar win back in 2013 with the unforgettable A.J.Foyt’s #14 car, so I always very much look forward to going back to Long Beach. In general, street courses are always fun to drive, and they provide an exciting race and Long Beach has never failed those expectations. A heavy braking into turn 1 after a long straight provides us with a great opportunity for overtaking, the combination of both high speeds and complex sections are always challenging.
“We had a solid result at our first race in St.Petersburg, Florida, on a street course, where we were the biggest mover of the day, and we had a very competitive weekend at the last race in Texas too. Although technically the car is very different, we carry great momentum as a team and there is no reason why we cannot be competitive at Long Beach as well.”
David Malukas in the No.18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports is making his first Long Beach start this weekend and looking ahead to the race he said:
“I can’t wait to get on track in Long Beach this weekend. I want some redemption on a street circuit after our race in St. Petersburg earlier this season that ended abruptly! I’m happy we were able to get a full race in at Texas. I wore a heart rate monitor for that event to get a read on the cardiovascular aspect of a race and to help me be able to simulate that at home when I work out so I can be better prepared for these races that are much longer than what I was used to in Indy Lights.
‘Also, as part of my preparation, I’ve been on the Honda simulator doing many, many laps around the Long Beach track to get me ready for the real thing. I think we have a really good car for Long Beach and I’m really excited about it. Long Beach also seems like a fun track, that tight hairpin turn at the end was very new to me on the sim, so that was fun to learn. I’ve also watched a lot of videos and talked to my teammate Takuma Sato and the team. I think we’re ready, but only time will tell once we get on track! I’m looking forward to it.”