De Ferran Motorsports finally took its first outright victory in the American Le Mans Series as Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud beat fellow LMP1 Acura duo Scott Sharp and David Brabham (Highcroft) to the win on the streets of Long Beach.
Pagenaud had driven around the outside of pole-starter Sharp at the first corner, but was unable to shake off the Highcroft car early on.
Sharp then managed to reclaim the lead with a pass on the exit of Turn 7 nearly half an hour into the race, clipping the De Ferran car and causing some rear end bodywork damage as he did so.
The Highcroft Acura proceeded to pull away, only to receive a penalty at its pit stop because the refueler had not worn goggles correctly, contrary to series rules. That allowed the De Ferran entry to move back in front, despite some difficulty getting the car restarted at its own stop.
De Ferran managed to maintain a lead of around 14 seconds over Brabham, with victory put beyond doubt when the LG Riley Corvette caught fire with five minutes to go and caused the race to finish under its only full course yellow.
The result was not only the first overall ALMS win for de Ferran's new team, but ended the Brazilian's own jinx at Long Beach, which had seen misfortune cost him potential wins at the track on several occasions during his Champ Car career.
Fernandez Acura remained unbeaten in LMP2, but had to fend off a greater challenge from Dyson's new Lola-Mazdas this time. Dyson's Guy Smith got ahead of Fernandez driver Luis Diaz at the start and was able to lead by as much as 5s early on, while Diaz had to resist pressure from Smith's teammate Butch Leitzinger.
A longer first stint allowed Fernandez to jump ahead in the pit stops, with Adrian Fernandez then easily pulling away from Chris Dyson. There was a hint of an opportunity for Dyson with 20 minutes remaining when Fernandez was trapped behind a GT2 accident and lost 12 seconds, but the Mexican was soon able to re-establish a comfortable cushion.
The Intersport Lola had its best run since Miller last year, as Jon Field charged past the LMP2 cars in the opening laps to run third overall for the first 40 minutes. His teammates Clint Field and Chapman Ducote could not stay in touch with the front-runners, though.
Three-time class champions Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin had the honor of taking the GT1 Corvette's last ALMS victory. Johnny O'Connell had jumped ahead of Beretta at the start, only for his car to suffer a transmission failure before teammate Jan Magnussen even had chance to drive.
Flying Lizard Porsche's Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister took another dominant GT2 victory as others faltered. Long stalked Farnbacher Loles Porsche driver Wolf Henzler for the first half of the race, until Henzler's car suffered a suspension breakage, handing Long an ample lead.
It took Risi Ferrari's Pierre Kaffer an hour to get up from last - having been disqualified from pole for a ride height infringement - to second place in GT2, and by that time Long and Bergmeister were well out of reach.