2005 San Jose Thoughts
RACE: As an event, San Jose rocked! Three solid days at an urban village. As a race, the Champ Car event was not as exciting as the Toyota Atlantics and Trans-Am. There were no passes for position on the track all day. This is something we think will improve in year two.
TRACK: While it has been criticized all weekend, we actually think there is some praise due. Tracy says there are parts of the track that are actually fun to drive, and there were great vantage points for all of the spectators—including General Admissions. Neither is the case with Long Beach. That said, whoever is the incredibly stubborn person or persons who would not permit the section of the rails to be shut down for three days so that the track could be smooth: for shame, for shame (in the words of Gomer Pyle).
TROLLEY TRACK CROSSING: Worse piece of racetrack in the history of open wheel racing. Makes the Long Island Rail Road crossing in the original Vanderbilt Cup look smooth.
TURN FOUR: Car eater.
SAN JOSE: 40,434 on a workday in Silicon Valley! 50,962 on a hot Saturday! 62,731 on race day! Not Edmonton numbers, but very impressive for a first year race. San Jose succeeded in making everyone feel welcome.
QUALIFYING: Nothing to write home about, with the exception of the strong results by Nelson Philippe.
START: Worse of the year.
BOURDAIS: The class of the field again. Sebastien always makes a lot of incredibly hard work look effortless. Clearly, a back to back championship is now his to lose.
SERVIA: Another race, another podium. In spite of being Bruno’s friend, he’s gotta want to keep this seat, or he wouldn’t be human. That said, Oriol is more overdue than a woman who’s 11 months pregnant.
NEWMAN/HAAS: Reportedly rebuilt Sebastien’s whole car last night and their crew guys still sprinted to Victory Circle. Deservedly so. Bravo.
TRACY: Six podiums this year. It’s like Paul bought a podium time share.
WILSON: It’s his birthday—and Harry Potter’s—they are both English and both are awesome. Another terrific finish for someone sure to be a champion—just depends on the year. And, he's his own riding mechanic as well!
DOMINGUEZ: A real improvement over the past few races. For much of the contest, Mario and Wilson were out running the three boys in front of them. Bodes well for the rest of the season.
GLOCK: A good job on a tough day and for a team that can’t seem to shoot straight. Someone, quick, get this guy a great ride for next year.
BREMER: Dale Coyne has to feel like the luckiest guy in town to have Ronnie on his team. He’s giving Glock a run for his money for Rookie of the Year, and he reportedly is now Legge’s spotter to boot.
TAGLIANI: Tags started almost dead last, finished midpack, and did a great job of lasting on a day that was brutal on equipment and drivers alike.
DA MATTA: Has Cristiano's career peaked?
MARSHALL: Other than being cute for the girls to look at, why is this man in Champ Car? We know there are probably several other better qualified Australian drivers out there.
LAVIN: The same number of people who cheered for Alex Sperafico's return probably cheered for Rodolfo's return... At least Lavin was getting better at the end of last year.
RANGER: Done in by turn four.
ALLMENDINGER: Déjà vu all over again.
ROCKETSPORTS: This is embarrassing—they should have held on to Tags.
HVM: This team has lost all of the progress they made last year. It’s a shame.
TEAM AUSTRALIA: VISA Australia is going to do for Australian racing what Player's did for Canada. And best of all, it will mean Marcus Marshall will soon be pushed aside.
BRIDGESTONE: In spite of the heat and the railroad tracks, tire wear and failures were never a problem all weekend.
SEBRING: Perhaps this was all a secret test to see if Sebring is doable...
LEGGE: Okay, she had some luck today, but also not a small amount of true driving skill.
SAID: We love the way Boris can jump into a car and take a pole and then win a race. More talent than many other higher priced drivers in other series in which he races.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Attrition.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 153,767 in paid attendance—pushing Champ Car over the 1 million spectators and leading to more teeth gnashing for Tony George.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: An historical photo comparison. The image on the left (taken by ) shows the modern day Champ Car flying over the trolley tracks in San Jose. The image on the right shows George Robertson in the "Old 16" Locomobile, winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup, flying over the railroad tracks on Long Island.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Kevin Kalkhoven after the race, "The drivers will probably need a lot of Preparation H after those bumps."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Oriol Servia, after being told that the track was a lot like running motocross, "I have to say, I have been driving motorcycles since I am two and a half, and I’ve never screamed like I was screaming on Friday. I can promise you that."
SCHEDULE: Another street race in Denver in two weeks. Since it was the year’s best race last year, we can’t wait to see what it’s like in 2005.
Copyright © 2005 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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