Season 9 of our famed Tuesday night PS4 GT3 league was back in action for the only street course that the gents will hit this season, as they battle the slick asphalt of the famed Long Beach Street Circuit.
Tyler McIntosh (MacAttack0922) qualifying streak continues, capturing all 5 Poles on the Season, however this was a nail biter to the very end. Mark Kaelin (Bubba18) and Tyler would trade the Pole back and forth a total of 5 times in the session, barely besting each other by mere hundredths of a second late in qualifying. Mark K. gave it one last shot at the very end of the session, but contact grazing a wall on a corner exit would be the determining factor tonight, as Tyler won the Pole by .085 seconds. With that Pole, Tyler has now tied Patricio Campos (Pitricio) for the All-Time League record with his 15th Career Pole. Mark McCormak (RPG), Chase Cavalier (Doge_With_It_420) and Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) rounded out the Top 5.
Everyone knew that Long Beach was not only a race between cars, but also a race of survival on the unforgiving streets.... but no one could imagine that the streets would be this unforgiving. The race started off clean, no accidents happened and only 1 driver suffered a half spin. Then at the end of Lap 2 exiting the final hairpin, the craziness founds it's way into the race, and wouldn't leave. Tyler was in the lead when he clipped the inside wall and spun his car with damage. He lost even more time not being able to spin his car back around until everyone cleared due to the close proximity of that section. This forced Tyler to pit immediately to fix his damage and take the gamble of putting on a harder compound tire to make it the rest of the way. A few laps later while running in 2nd place, Mark K. would be the next to pit as he would be the next of the front runners to slip up and make heavy contact with the wall. On Lap 12, Mark M. would be the next leader to fall victim to the streets as he got into the wall hard on the exit of Turn 1, forcing him to pit on the next lap for repairs. Lap 13, it was Kyle's turn as the exit of Turn 5 saw him spin his BMW into the inside wall as the leader. This gave Chase the lead for the first time ever in his PRL career. The lead would be short lived as Chase drove too hard into Turn 1 on the next lap, but luckily it was only a loss of time and no damage for the Renault driver. That slip would give Samuel Yong (PhynesT-X) the lead for the first time in his career as well. But as the streak goes, Samuel would find the wall entering Turn 7 on the next lap, surrendering the lead back to Chase. Chase would pit at the halfway mark in the race, one of only 2 driver who did not have to pit for repairs. That pit stop would give Dave Cristelli (TheGreatC81) the lead as he would be the 3rd driver to lead for the first time ever in this race. Dave would stay out as long as he could on his tires, only to see himself spin on the exit of Turn 5 a couple laps later. While Dave did not get damaged, this allowed Tyler to close right up onto his bumper, and then take the lead as Dave pit the next time by. After all of the craziness unfolded, everything cycled around with the main battle for the lead to be had between Tyler and his tires. Leaving the audience in suspense, Tyler's tire management was on point as he was able to take his Hard tires and incredible 32 laps and bring home his 3rd victory on the season. Chase ran the cleanest race of the field to bring home his first career Podium with his runner-up performance. Kyle would round out the podium after he was able to hold off Samuel in the closing laps, while Dave would round out the Top 5. Along with his Pole and Win, Tyler captured the Fastest Lap to complete his 2nd Hat Trick this season, which now ties him with the All-Time lead in that category with Patricio. The Hard Charger award would have to get split up 5-ways this week as Chase, Kyle, Samuel, Dave and Mikhail Jackson (Mikhail24RD) would all go +2 for the race.
**Top 10 finishers for Long Beach**
1. Tyler McIntosh (MacAttack0922) – 3rd Win of the Season
2. Chase Cavalier (Doge_With_It_420) – 1st Career Podium in the PRL!!
3. Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) – 4th Podium of the Season
4. Samuel Yong (PhynesT-X)
5. Dave Cristelli (TheGreatC81)
6. Mark Kaelin (Bubba18)
7. Mark McCormak (RPG)
8. Mikhail Jackson (Mikhail24RD)
9. Max Lewin (RiteAidKid84)
10. Lance Lewin (RacerLance)
In the Driver's Championship battle, Tyler McIntosh (MacAttack0922) win jumped his points lead to 22 points now over the rest of the field, giving himself over a full race cushion worth of points. Kyle Spencer (KDawgHonda777) took over 2nd place after Long Beach, jumping up 5 points ahead of Mark McCormak (RPG). Mark Kaelin (Bubba18) moved up into 4th place in the points, dropping Mathieu Blais (Mats35R) down to 5th.
The Team Championship standings saw Apex Motorsports (Tyler and Kyle) take a big leap up on Pony Up Racing (Mark Mc. and Mark K.) as the 2 Ferrari drivers had issues in Long Beach. The spread between the 2 teams is now 40 points.
Next week will be going to a familiar circuit for the first time this season as the crew heads to Road America, as Tyler McIntosh (MacAttack0922) looks to defend his win from the last time the League hit the circuit back in Season 7 (which was Tyler's first career win!). Each week, please join our League's Broadcaster Charles Sumner (Hootius; www.twitch.tv/oldmanhoot ) as he breaks down all of the action that happens each Tuesday night @ 9PM EST.
Here is the broadcast of the great actions from Long Beach: