2007 Las Vegas Thoughts
RACE: A very good start for the 2007 season. A little too much attrition, but the new car and new field did the job.
TRACK: An absolute winner for any track, never mind for a street circuit. With such a long track, wouldn’t local yellows make more sense than full course?
EVENT: Some issues with access and not enough shuttles, but a “well done” for a first year event. There were lots of parties and a good time was possible for everyone. So, if you didn’t have fun, you weren’t trying.
THE BIG PICTURE: Obviously, a better first year effort than San Jose’s first year, with a great track and lots of local interest. The festival model translates well to this city, and this course is a definite “A” quality. The post race press conference was a bit too self-congratulatory for our taste, however.
START: Couldn't even make it to the first turn.
POWER: Congratulations to the driver with the coolest name in racing this side of Scott Speed. A solid and commanding win. Welcome to the serious championship contender category, Will
PAGENAUD: The DP01 fueling issues hurt Simon, but an otherwise great weekend for this first timer.
TEAM AUSTRALIA: They came on strong at the end of last season. If Newman Haas Lanigan doesn’t watch it, TA could become the #1 team in Champ Car.
DOORNBOS: The charming Dutchman did not come close to winning his maiden race in the series, but Robert is the first rookie since Mansell to podium in his first race.
MINARDI TEAM USA: A respectable beginning for Paul Stoddart on this side of the pond.
TRACY: The new release of Tracy, version 3.0, is the oldest driver in the field, is very grown up, and still very fast. Our favorite version of PT yet (until he reboots), and we are glad he is not going Busch racing any more.
TAGLIANI: Tags drove today as if his career depended on it. Good job.
GOMMENDY: Needs to work on his endurance. May just improve a lot if he listens to JV.
LEGGE: Her position was purely inherited, but a great debut for Katherine at DCR. We thought for awhile she was going to podium, then remembered this isn’t NASCAR.
JUNQUEIRA: An even better DCR debut. Super fast in the race, and had a podium spot locked up if not for a fuel rig problem.
DALE COYNE RACING: Looking mighty racy out there, Dale. Glad to see you get so emotionally involved in your team's efforts. We bet there are a lot of disappointed Speraficos today – you now have a team of real racers.
FIGGE: Despite his final position, Alex was just flat out slow.
DALZIEL: Pretty lackluster, but he’ll get better.
PACIFIC COAST MOTORSPORTS: Need to work on their engineering and speed issues.
DOMINGUEZ: The best part of his entire weekend? Mario did not run into Paul. Super Mario also did great in a thrown together program.
JANI: The gremlins that got Pagenaud and Wilson also attacked the car of the promising Swiss rookie.
BOURDAIS: Sebastien had a rare unlucky weekend, but was not able to be gracious in defeat. Wait, he is often not even gracious in victory. My bad.
NEWMAN HAAS LANIGAN: A rare bad weekend for the reigning champions. Trust us, a great deal of midnight oil is going to be burned in between now and Long Beach.
WILSON: Mechanical issues made for a short work day for Justin.
RAHAL: Will have to wait a week to complete his first green flag lap in Champ Car. Heck, his first corner, thanks to Dan Clarke. Still, racing as a professional driver is a cool way to spend your Spring Break in your senior year in high school.
HALLIDAY: Did one corner better than Graham.
CONQUEST: Glad they are back, even without Mi-Jack. Let’s hope he can get a couple of good drivers signed quickly.
CLARKE: Karma's a bitch.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Attrition.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 5 -- The winning car number and the number of Deep Throttle staff at Las Vegas.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The first championship car road course in Las Vegas was the 3.0-mile Stardust International Raceway run in 1968. Bobby Unser won the 50-lap race at an average speed of 113.269 mph. Dan Gurney had the pole.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: James Hinchcliffe after he crashed his Atlantic car in qualifying, "I IRL'ed it into the wall. You know, gearbox first."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Robert Doornbos on what his crew was telling him, "You have to save fuel, more fuel. I was like, 'I’m racing. What do you want me to do Valet Parking or something?'"
SCHEDULE: Back to the Beach.
Copyright © 2007 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.