- Global Time Attack Pro Championship joins the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach for the first time.
- 20 cars based on production vehicles were invited to compete across three days at the 11-turn, 1.97-mile street circuit of Long Beach.
- Headlining the event is Amir Bentatou’s turbocharged and K-swapped 1991 Acura NSX that has already competed at Global Time Attack events across the country.
- To celebrate time attack returning to the streets of Long Beach after 10 years, Pit+Paddock teamed up with photographer Alex Bernstein to create a poster giveaway of Amir’s NSX on one of the most iconic corners of the street circuit.
I’ll admit that I’ve taken the Grand Prix of Long Beach for granted. As an LA resident and having it in my own backyard, it’s often an event that I skip. Perhaps it’s because I typically report on Formula DRIFT the weekend prior or because I don’t want to deal with crowds that reach up to 200,000s each year. But as I stepped foot through the main entrance off of Ocean Blvd. this year and soaked in the adrenaline and excitement that makes up the three-day motorsports festival, I remembered how electrifying of a place it was to be.
While perusing the event grounds, I ran into a regular race fan who attended the Grand Prix since the ’90s and started schooling me on its history. It went deep in the ’70s and made me appreciate the races even more. Not just a home for IndyCar and IMSA, the origins of Long Beach date back to when Formula One ran the United States Grand Prix West. Legends like Mario Andretti and Niki Lauda both have won here. When it transitioned to host CART/Champ Cars, more legends can be found in the books, such as Al Unser Jr., Paul Tracy, and Alex Zanardi. To some of us, sure, it might just look like a wonky road course around the Long Beach Convention Center, but the history books more than qualify this racetrack as iconic as Laguna Seca. One of the many reasons why it was sort of a big deal when news broke out that Global Time Attack would be participating in this year’s Grand Prix.
The GTA competition would span three days consisting of one session per day. It’s a far cry from the typical time attack format, where competitors have all day to set the fastest lap time. Long Beach would prove to be more of a test and an exhibition, not just to put down the quickest time but also put on a show that would represent the tuning/time attack community well to hundreds of thousands of race fans.
Only 20 cars and drivers were invited to participate, and headlining the pack was Amir Bentatou and his turbocharged and K-swapped Acura NSX. Amir is no stranger to Pit+Paddock, as we followed the progress of his time attack campaign at Buttonwillow and Road Atlanta last year. He currently holds the Street Class record at Buttonwillow and has his eyes set to knock some seconds off again this year.
At Long Beach, we set up a special photoshoot session with professional photographer Alex Bernstein to commemorate the special occasion. For any driving and racing enthusiast, being able to compete at the Grand Prix of Long Beach is like a dream come true. Before this opportunity for Global Time Attack came around, it was nearly impossible for grassroots guys like Amir. Unfortunately, he ran into some mechanical failures come race day, which stunted his ability to put down a competitive lap. Despite this, his spirits were high, and we were still able to produce a photo and poster worth saving for decades to come.
For a chance to win one of these limited edition 18×24 prints, check out our Instagram page for this week’s giveaway.
Tell us a little bit about who is Amir the driver, Amir of RS Future, Amir, the enthusiast.
I am Amir Bentatou, driver of the RS Future x Koyorad NSX and owner of RS Future. RS Future is a shop that specializes in aerodynamic components and motorsport services. I’m a huge motorsport enthusiast, but I’m also a big fan of the import car scene and culture.
What are some of the highlight cars you’ve driven and time attack events you’ve competed at?
The NSX is our shop demo car, but I’ve also had an Enthusiast Class E36 M3 that I campaigned in Southern California, and I am the driver for the Motorsport Hardware Limited Class LS-swapped M3. I’ve competed across the country and follow the Global Time Attack calendar. Some of the tracks I’ve driven include Circuit of the Americas, Road Atlanta, Ridge Motorsports Park, Buttonwillow, and now the Long Beach circuit.
In a nutshell, what makes your NSX so special?
We have tried to build it with an emphasis on both performance and aesthetics. The K swap in an NSX is one of the most obvious and unique aspects of the car, but we’ve spent a lot of time making sure the entire car was well thought out.
What are your overall thoughts on being a competitor at the first-ever Global Time Attack race in Long Beach?
I’ve attended the race for years with the dream of one day competing there. It’s a dream come true to drive at the same event as IndyCar and IMSA on the streets of Long Beach. Our goal is to have fun and bring the car back home in one piece.
After Long Beach, what’s next for you?
We will be focusing on getting the most out of the car at Buttonwillow. Since it’s our home track, we have very high expectations. Our goal is to improve our street class record. We are considering changing classes next year. We will be testing new setups to determine the next step in the NSX’s evolution.
Amir Bentatou | 1991 Acura NSX
|ENGINE:||Honda 2.0-liter inline-4 K20Z1 engine swap with forged internals, Koyorad radiator, Koyorad intercooler heat exchanger, RS Motorsport turbo manifold, RS Motorsport intercooler plumbing, RS Motorsport titanium exhaust, custom fabricated parts using Vibrant Performance components, tuned by Kristian Wong at SP Engineering, Hybrid Racing fuel rail, Nuke Performance fuel pressure regulator, Rywire Mil-spec engine harness, ID1700X injectors, Hondata K-Pro, Brian Crower Stage 2 cams, upgraded valves and valvesprings, carbon intake manifold, Borg Warner EFR7163 turbo, Innovative engine mounts|
|TRANSMISSION:||Samsonas 6-speed dog box built by Ghostwerks, Kaaz LSD, McLeod twin-plate clutch, Insane Shafts axles, Battlecraft shift knob, Hybrid Racing shifter by Battlecraft, Battlecraft shifter base plate, Hybrid Racing shift cables, Hybrid Racing mid-engine cable bracket|
|SUSPENSION:||KW Competition coilovers, Dali Racing 1-inch sway bars|
|BRAKES:||StopTech Trophy kit (not pictured), Winmax W6 pads|
|WHEELS & TIRES:||18x10.5-inch front, 18x12-inch rear RAYS ZE40 wheels, 265/35R18 front, 295/35R18 rear Yokohama A052 tires, Motorsports Hardware extended studs and lugs|
|EXTERIOR:||RS Future carbon GT wing, RS Future carbon splitter, RS Future carbon splitter end plates, RS Future carbon splitter diffusers, RS Future carbon radiator duct, I’s Impact front bumper, Yokota Bodycraft fenders, Marga Hills side skirts, Marga Hills rear quarter panels, Advance rear spats, Magical Racing mirrors, I’s Impact B-pillars, Midnight Purple 2 paint by ABS Autobody|
|INTERIOR:||RS Motorsport FIA/SCCA-spec 6-point roll cage, Bride PROFACE seats, Bride rails, Cusco harnesses, Cusco rollcage, AiM cluster|