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Long Beach Diary:
Day Two
Chasing Pavements

Long Beach, Calif., April 14 — So much of today is just like the Adele song that titles this essay -- "should I just keep chasing pavements, even if it leads to nowhere?" Many of my friends who are not racing fanatics like moi think it's crazy to "just watch those cars go round and around, and where do they go, Lisa?" Okay, I get it. Kind of. Not really. I am so lucky that I married within my sub species, "homo sapien racer," otherwise, I would be miserable I'm sure.

So, here are all the nowhere things that happened today:

  • I missed blueberry pancakes at Luigi's because I had promised a certain photographer friend we would have breakfast with him. He then decides to go have breakfast at Honda's hospitality and will not take us with him. He sucks! This is so nowhere!
  • The Pro-Celebrity Race is actually lamer than usual. The only thing that saves it from total suckhood is Adam Carolla explaining the difference between his last name and the Toyota car with the similar sounding name. I realize that the "celebrities" are largely recycles of the kinds of well-known people who do Dancing With The Stars which my mother loves, and I avoid like the plague even though I am in their demographic. But the "pros," I mean, come on! There are literally dozens of guys who have raced here before who would love to do the PCR and could actually be interesting to watch! So, ask them!
  • The ridiculous grid penalties which are currently in effect in both Formula 1 and Indy Car are so stupid and so counterproductive. Lemme explain something here: the reason that cars qualify is so that the faster cars end up at the front. At the front. Not the middle, not spaces back, AT THE FRONT! Got that? So, Lewis Hamilton will be starting farther back than he should at tomorrow’s F1 race in China. Lame-o. And who knows what the grid for the Indy Car race is going to look like tomorrow? Not Indy Car!
  • The unnavigatable -- is that a word? -- "new" websites for the ALMS and Indy Car. There's too much stuff on ALMS' front page -- but kudos to whomever decided to hire an actual writer, the amazing David Phillips, for some awesome content. And if you want to find Timing and Scoring on the ICS site, you have to pluck it out of a news story! Both sites are going nowhere, and I hope they will be fixed!
  • The missing grid for the Indy Car Series. Normally, a starting lineup follows qualifying in an hour or so. "Rumor has it," that there will be no grid published until tomorrow, "in case someone else changes their engine." I know! How about making every driver change their engine so that the actual qualifying results with Briscoe on the pole actually happens? No? Well, how about a special prize for whomever finds the missing grid on the ICS website? Any takers? No? Where is Eric Mauk when I need him?! Indy Car needs him badly folks. Write in.

In spite of this "Festival of Nowhere" on Saturday, there are some actual cool things that happened today. Such as, there was no rain; it was dry as a bone. Hooray! The ALMS race was cool and professional, if not terribly exciting. I never have seen the point of sports cars on a street course, but maybe it's just me. It was cool that Cody Unser got to do "start your engines" her way, i.e., under water while scuba diving.

The ALMS race did have some weird things happen. They had a wet practice Friday morning, but since their practice was rained out Friday evening, there was no chance for any of the cars to practice on a dry track. So, they were gridded based upon points standings and the perceived speed of each class of car. Except it was immediately obvious that the Prototype Challenge class was way faster than the supposedly faster Prototype 2 class, especially with Ryan Dalziel driving a PC entry! There was no great GT duel today, either, but at least it was a pretty clean race.

Sunday promises to be an even more intense day than today, although it will be slower than our usual 12+ hours on the track that we do on Sunday. Until then, I'm off to the races!

Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Davidson and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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