‘Perfect’ Strategy Calls Help Mustang Sampling Racing take Victory at Long Beach


Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa - Mustang Sampling Racing
Credit: Richard Dole / LAT Images

The duo of Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa won the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach last Saturday, with the former coming out on top on his very first visit to the California street track.

The Mustang Sampling Racing duo secured their second victory in the opening three rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, having won the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona back in January, and Albuquerque admitted it was tough, particularly down the straights as their Cadillac DPi.V.R was hindered slightly by its Balance of Performance figures.

It was also pleasing for the Portuguese racer to come to Long Beach and return to the front of the field after struggling last time out in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with Albuquerque and Barbosa now back on top of the championship standings.

“Brilliant! Daytona was great and at Sebring we had a bit of a struggle,” said Albuquerque on AXRacing.com.  “Joao (Barbosa) did a great job to start the race.

“This is my first time at Long Beach. At the beginning of my stint I could pass people. On the main straight it was hard to overtake, with the BOP we are down a little.”

Albuquerque felt the strategy calls during the race on Saturday were perfect, and said that his very first street race in a Prototype machine was ‘fun’, and he was pleased that the battles for position were for the lesser positions on the podium behind him.

“The strategy for us by the team was perfect,” said Albuquerque.  “We got in the lead and I was able to manage the race from the lead. We were unstoppable. We had a good Cadillac all weekend. This was my first time on a street course in a prototype and it was fun.

“When the yellow came out I was in the lead and feeling good. I had to concentrate on the restart, not getting too comfortable with these walls lining the track. The Nissan and Acura were battling behind me, so I just managed my race and brought the Mustang Sampling Cadillac home for the win.”