Long Beach: All set for the ultimate street fight
Long Beach, California April 13, 2023
The bumpy streets of Long Beach in California host the third round of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES this weekend (April 14-16), with Juncos Hollinger Racing determined to maintain its strong start to the season.
The 85-lap Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will present a similar challenge to St. Petersburg – a track that was kind to drivers Callum Ilott and Agustín Canapino as they finished the season opener in P5 and P12 respectively.
The 1.96-mile temporary street course consists of mainly medium speed corners and a track surface that is bumpy and unsettling. Therefore, good mechanical grip and a precise approach on the narrow track are key to success on the West Coast.
Callum and Agustín will go head-to-head with 25 other drivers on Sunday, all looking to emulate Mario Andretti who emerged as the first INDYCAR winner at Long Beach way back in 1984.
While leading Rookie Agustín will be taking to the Long Beach circuit for the first time, team-mate Callum has some useful experience he can share. The Briton has driven at Long Beach twice before – but has still to see the checkered flag after retiring in 2021 and 2022.
“I think there's a few things we needed to improve from St. Pete and I'm hoping we've worked on those so we can show a bit more speed”
Callum Ilott, driver of the #77 JHR Dallara-Chevrolet, said:
“I’m looking forward to Long Beach, especially after the impressive start to the season we’ve had so far.
I think there’s a few things we needed to improve from St. Pete and I’m hoping we’ve worked on those so we can show a bit more speed. But I think we’ve also improved in a lot of other areas so it will be interesting to see if we can implement everything this weekend.
I always enjoy Long Beach. It’s a great circuit with a superb atmosphere. I love seeing all the fans that come to the race – it makes it a special weekend for the drivers.”
“We come to Long Beach with a lot of energy and ambition after an amazing start of the season”
Agustín Canapino, driver of the #78 JHR Dallara-Chevrolet, said:
“We come to Long Beach with a lot of energy and ambition after an amazing start of the season.
I know that I am facing one of the most difficult street circuits of the season, where last year it was a difficult race for the team.
It is a very special and particular track that you have to respect a lot, so we will take it very calmly and try to have a good weekend.
My goal is to be able to do as many laps as possible, finish the race and continue gaining experience.”
“The team is motivated to continue building on the results we had in St. Pete and Texas and we've got our heads down working for that. ”
Ricardo Juncos, JHR Team Principal, said:
“Long Beach is a difficult street course and will definitely be another big challenge for Agustín who is making his debut there. It’s a bit different for Callum because he already had some experience and that will be an advantage for him.
For sure, we’re still in the process of developing the team and, for instance, we need to improve our pit stops after Texas. But we’re looking forward to doing that and continuing the evolution of our performance.
The team is motivated to continue building on the results we had in St. Pete and Texas and we’ve got our heads down working for that.
We recognise how tough INDYCAR is but we are pushing to get better every race weekend.”
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