LONG BEACH, CA (13 April 2022) – Irish Mike’s Racing made its street racing debut with a pair of IMSA Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by Visit Cayman Islands races in the historic Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Conor Flynn got his first taste of temporary-course competition, finishing 12th and 10th in the Pro class driving the No. 95 FlynnCo Cars / Chillout Systems Porsche 992.
Teammate Craig Conway was scheduled to pilot the No. 97 Diamond Suzuki Porsche in the Porsche Pro-Am division, but travel cancellations forced the Floridian to miss the event.
“It was a pretty incredible weekend, being at Long Beach,” Flynn said. “We made huge steps forward with the car, with the development and learning it for the team. Now we’re super excited heading toward our next race at Laguna Seca in three weeks.”
Running near the back of the pack in the opening segments of qualifying, Flynn dramatically improved on his final two laps to clock in 15th in Pro and 24th overall in the 33-car field.
The opening race demonstrated the affects of tight competition on the streets, both starting and finishing under caution with a long yellow-flag stretch in between. Flynn managed to gain nine positions during the limited green-flag racing, taking 15th overall and 12th in Pro competition.
Sunday’s finale also had two lengthy cautions. An early incident for three-wide contact put the field behind the pace car for nearly half of the 40 minutes. Flynn was 16th at the restart, and moved up to 14th overall and 10th in class when a caution for a stopped car came out with 8:45 remaining. The green flag waved with 15 seconds remaining for a final lap of race, but Flynn was unable to improve his position.
“It was a ton of fun,” Flynn said of the experience. “I’ve loved watching them – especially St. Petersburg – so to be able to race the street course at Long Beach was a great opportunity. Hopefully, Porsche will do more street courses in the future.
“I had nothing too crazy, but every turn was kind of a close call,” Flynn added. “There was a ton of crashes, so I had to be cautious to avoid them and keep the car in one piece for the next race at Laguna Seca.
Next up for Irish Mike’s Racing will be Round 3 of the 2022 championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on April 29-May 1. The team will test at the circuit this week, and the team’s transporter will remain in California through the race weekend.