Defending winner looking to repeat.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach on the temporary street circuit constructed in downtown Long Beach, California is the third race on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Chevrolet enters the weekend as the defending winner on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course. Team Chevy opened the 2015 campaign with a victory on the Streets of St. Petersburg and looks to continue that success this weekend.
Juan Pablo Montoya scored the first win of the 2015 season for Team Chevy in the debut race of the Chevrolet Aero Kit at St. Petersburg and returns to Long Beach as a former winner of the event (1999). Montoya currently leads the Verizon IndyCar Series standings by 10 points over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves after the first three races.
“Team Chevy is eager to get to the streets of Long Beach this coming weekend and pick up where we left off at St. Pete,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “Long Beach is always a special event on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule and the fan base is enthusiastic and loyal. Street courses present unique challenges and for this circuit in particular the solid execution of the hairpin leading to the curved front straight is a critical element for a fast lap. With the introduction of the 2015 Chevrolet Aero Kit and integrated Chevrolet Indy V6 engine, the excitement for each venue on the schedule feels new again.”
One pole, two victories
Chevrolet has notched one pole and two wins in the Grand Prix of Long Beach since the Bowtie brand’s successful 2012 debut of the 2.2-liter purpose-built engine fueled by E85. Several current Team Chevy drivers have enjoyed success on the tight street course. In addition to Montoya, Castroneves was the Long Beach winner from the pole in 2001. Sebastien Bourdais put together a string of three consecutive wins at Long Beach (2005 - 07), and Will Power is a two-time winner (2008 & ’12) at the southern California track.
"Long Beach is one of the most iconic tracks we run on,” said Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. “There are a lot of different tracks that stand out for different reasons, and like Indianapolis, it's got a lot of background with a 40-year history. I've raced there in Indy Lights and CART, and Formula One raced there back in the day. Some of the best racers in the world over many generations have won there and participated there. It's just such a cool place; you're right on the ocean there and close to L.A., so it's got a great vibe. They have something for everybody. That's one of the coolest parts about Long Beach, but I've never won there. I've really got to sort my act out at that place and hopefully get a victory there this weekend."