2006 Long Beach Thoughts
RACE: The thriller on lap one ensured a non-thriller on laps 2-74.
TRACK: We didn't get a chance to see the effects of widening the first turn. Well, not the effect we were looking for.
START: They are supposed to better than the Atlantics. Perhaps, they should have watched that race for pointers.
FORSYTHE: Are we sure the drivers got into the right cars?
ROOKIES: They ran in a nice neat row from seventh to twelfth place for the latter part of the race, and they didn't do significantly worse than the veterans.
BOURDAIS: About that prediction that Sebastien can't possibly combine skill and luck at the level he has for a third straight year... Best wishes to you and Claire on your upcoming wedding in May.
WILSON: Fast, but still no match for the Flying Frenchman.
RuSPORT: They set the bar very high for themselves. Apparently, it needs to be set even higher.
TAGLIANI: An unexpected podium finish for a driver they didn't bother to announce until this week.
DOMINGUEZ: Whether the spark or not, Mario triggers the pileup, and then he goes on to finish fourth. Talk about having the racing gods on your side.
DA MATTA: Cristiano showed us something this race. Despite his hugely disappointing 2005 season, he may be a lot of fun to watch on this underdog team.
RANGER: Nice drive up the field.
HEYLEN: Well, Jan did lead some (bogus) laps...
LEGGE: Let's not get all gaga over Katherine's eighth place finish, the best for a woman in Champ Cars. Let's face it, if there was only normal attrition instead of the first lap elimination-fest, she never would have finished in the top ten. She qualified on the last row, spun three times during the weekend including once in the race, and her fastest race lap was near the back of those who ran the majority of the race. If she was a male rookie, nobody would be saying anything. And, we believe that's the way she would rather have it until she proves herself.
POWER: He ran up front for a good part of the day, but a better finish was ruined by that evil turn one tire barrier. Will will definitely make us forget about Marshall Marcus or Marcus Marshall or ... which one is it, Derek Daly?
PIZZONIA: He impressed many people by moving over for the leaders and pretty much stayed out of trouble. However, that's not the sort of impression an F3000 winner and former F1 driver is supposed to make.
CLARKE: We can't decide if Dan is going to be our whipping boy for 2006 or a surprise sensation (he had the third fastest race lap).
ZWOLSMAN: Like fellow 2005 Atlantic graduate Legge, nothing to shout home about.
PHILIPPE: A broken gearbox brought his day to a swift end.
VASSER: Out with mechanical problems. This is not the way to leave Long Beach, Jimmy.
JUNQUEIRA: He picked up where he left off last year -- in both speed and luck.
ALLMENDINGER: A completely innocent bystander. On to Houston, A.J.
SERVIA: A completely innocent bystander. On to Houston, Oriol.
TRACY: Victim of his own teammate who Tracy'ed Paul.
ATLANTICS: A crisp professional race won by polesitter Andreas Wirth of Germany. Standout performances by James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal. According to most of the drivers, there are at least ten guys capable of winning this year. It's going to be an awesome season for Atlantics.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Domination.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastien Bourdais was running faster laps -- mid 1:08s -- than anybody else even when he was conserving fuel.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: There were many real road courses in the early days of Champ Car racing in Southern California. One was nearly an identical length to the current 1.968-mile Long Beach circuit. In 1915, a 1.906-mile circuit was used in Glendale. Eddie O'Donnell won the 53-lap race at an average speed of 47.68 mph.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: We debated whether to use this one or not. However, stooping this low has never been a problem with Deep Throttle, so why worry about it now. When the in-car camera showed Katherine Legge breathing hard after she spun, Derek Daly, obviously not realizing the full connotation of his words, enthusiastically shouted out, "Look at her chest! Look at her chest!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Oriol Servia on being the newest teammate to Jimmy Vasser, "Before I was friends with Jimmy, I wanted to be his teammate. I mean we all saw what happened when those wankers Zanardi and Montoya drove on the same team with him..."
SCHEDULE: Back to Houston and the uniqueness of a night street race.
Copyright © 2006 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.