2005 Long Beach Thoughts
RACE: A take-no-prisoners, exciting, breath-taking display of racing talent and one hell of a race. There were seven different leaders, with eleven lead changes. The last time there were this many changes, Champ Car was racing on an oval.
TRACK: This is stating the obvious with a lot of redundancy. Champ Car must not lose this event. And if they do, they must enter into an all out street brawl and hold an event in Los Angeles at the same time to once and for all kill off the IRL.
START: Very clean, no incidents. Now, there's a first.
ROOKIES: With a couple of notable exceptions, they did well.
BOURDAIS: We don't know of a driver so talented who is also so humble. Sebastien's drive was truly indicative of his talent and the excellence of the Newman-Haas Racing team.
TRACY: A drive like today would have been impossible for a younger Tracy, who would have lacked the control to be passed by a faster car without trying to wreck someone. He was impressive in spite of not being dominant.
JUNQUEIRA: Great move on restart for third. However, is Bruno becoming another word for also-ran?
WILSON: He finished fourth in Mexico City with his old team, and his performance today showed his absolute commitment to run at the front for his new team, RuSport.
DOMINGUEZ: PT talked about how hard they worked on the Forsythe car over the winter. Since Mario just joined the team a few weeks ago, he proved the worth of these efforts. It is obvious that he and Paul will make better teammates than PT did with Lavin. With Mario, he didn't win today, but he made a good start.
FORSYTHE: The Tracy-Dominguez pairing may lead to some wins, but today it just led to points.
GLOCK: He was pretty fast all weekend, finishing an impressive sixth in his Champ Car debut.
BREMER: Signed late by HVM, and never a huge Atlantic star, Bremer did more than a respectable job today.
ALLMENDINGER: AJ had to be disappointed with his eighth place finish, but this was just not his event this year.
RUSPORT: Their cars finished fourth and eighth. They came into the race with high expectations, which means they have to go back to the drawing board if they want to start winning, and they do.
DA MATTA: Welcome back, Cristiano. Now, start going fast!
SERVIA: He was tenth last year and 11th this year. This guy can do more with very little than just about anyone out there.
HUNTER-REAY: Never a factor again this year.
TAGLIANI: Another year with a disappointing finish at the Beach. Even worse, his rookie teammate beat him.
PHILIPPE: Actually displayed maturity and showed some speed in spite of making some mistakes.
RANGER: Improved as the weekend went on, with some impressive moments along the way.
MI-JACK/CONQUEST: Eric Bachelart is going to have a lot of grey hairs by the end of the season with his young duo.
SPERAFICO: We thought Ricardo was the talented Sperafico...
JENSEN: What a colossal disappointment. Here was a new team that bragged about having all the sponsorship in place to be able to select any driver they wanted based on talent alone. This led many to dream about some up and coming hot shoe like Michael Valiente. Then, they end up selecting another European buy-a-ride wanker from a series that nobody would ever consider mining for talent for a major league ride no matter how well they did. What a gigantic letdown.
DEL MONTE: Despite what we said above, we'll give Fabrizio a break for this race. He came into a team that literally was still putting everything together as they rolled into the paddock, and del Monte had no time whatsoever in these cars. However, with six weeks to better prepare and test for the next event, there will be no mercy next time, and we have no fear that del Monte will be our 2005 whipping boy.
TELEVISION: Wow! The sound was so impressive, it literally felt like you were there. The picture quality and angles were so much better than last year's abomination. Now, if only they can stop missing all the key passes...
LEGGE: Katherine did in one race what Danica couldn't do in two years.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Statement.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 11 -- number of victories Sebastien Bourdais now has, tying him with Cristiano da Matta for 18th on the series all-time victory list.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last victory by a Newman-Haas driver at Long Beach was in 1987 when Mario Andretti lapped the entire field.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: More like a sign, "Hey IRL, Got Crowd?"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Sebastien Bourdais being brutally honest, "If they switch the series, it's not going to be the same. [The IRL] has the habit of giving away a lot of tickets -- we are selling tickets because people want to be here. That's how exciting this event is; the fans love it. What can we say? It's just pure racing."
SCHEDULE: Once again, that dreaded -- and ridiculous -- long break between the first and second races. Well, it will keep the Long Beach political fight front and center.
Copyright © 2005 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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