The third and final day of the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach is my personal favorite day because this is the day of “the big race” where the Indy Cars finally go at it full speed on the streets of downtown LB. Another reason why its a favorite of mine is because since the ALMS race is done by Saturday, they clear out their paddock by Saturday night and in its place there is a corral of exotic supercars! It’s like a Cars & Coffee event on a Sunday without having to wake up at the crack of dawn! There were some amazing cars on display in the corral. In fact, some cars were so good that they will be getting their own posts! Sunday is usually the day where I turn off reporter mode and get into fan mode to watch the race, which was pretty crazy by the way! If you didn’t make it out this year I highly, highly reccomend getting tickets and coming to the Grand Prix in 2012. Even if you aren’t local, if you are a racing fan I promise you it will be worth the trip! Below are a few pics from the car corral. If you want to see the rest just head over to our Facebook gallery.
Tags: · 2011 Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, 2011ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach, Events, Features, Indy Car, IndyCar, izod indy car series, Long Beach Grand Prix, LongBeachGrandPrix, Racing, ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach
I waited all year and the time finally came for open wheel racing to come back to town in the form of the IZOD Indy Car Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Last Sunday was race day and I was parked in my usual spot in grandstand 29 along the main straight of Shoreline Drive and waited for the cars to come blasting by me at 180mph into turn 1. With 2 races in the season already completed (St Petersberg and Alabama) victories were split between the Target Chip Ganassi team and Penske Team with one each so fans were playing the “Ganassi or Penske” game coming into this weekend. With Will Power scoring pole position it was looking like the round would go to Penske but then we were reminded that Long Beach is a street course and street courses almost always equal chaos.
The first bit of anarchy started when Helio Castroneves spun Justin Wilson by making contact with him in the hairpin coming on to Shoreline Drive. That mishap brought out a full course yellow which bunched up the field and destroyed any gap that Will Power had built up on the rest of the field. A double file restart was attempted once Justin was clear but the drivers caught stage fright and for the most part stayed in a single file line when the race went green again. Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to snag the lead from Will Power but just when Ryan was starting to get used to being out front another incident with EJ Viso and Danica Patrick brought out another full course yellow which again bunched the field back up and killed any gap that the front runners put on the pack.
This time race control made sure the Indy Cars really did make a double file restart when the track went green again. The result of which was everything going wrong! Helio Castroneves struck again but this time he got into his own teammate Will Power causing both to spin around which totally screwed up Team Penske’s day. Then inexplicably Takuma Sato got a flat and ran into the tires just past the convention center, and a few other rookies mysteriously spun out in the same area just after Sato came to a stop. It was all absolute madness. With all the carnage another full course yellow came out and once things were cleaned up they went for the double file restart once again. This time things went more cleanly, yet things still kicked off with a surprize as Alex Tagliani, Dario Franchitti, and Mike Conway all put pressure on front runners Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the start. First Tagliani seemed to get the jump on the two Ryans but out of no where Mike Conway makes a move on Dario Franchitti then weaves past Tagliani just as Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car decides to take a dump. Then Conway puts a brilliant move on Briscoe to take the lead in the last 6 laps or so and holds on to take his first ever win in the Indy Car Series! It looks like the rest of the season could turn into a three way battle between Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, and Andretti Autosport!
Scroll down for a few highlights from the race and stay tuned for more Grand Prix posts coming up!
Tags: · 2011 Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, 2011ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach, Andretti Auto Sport, AndrettiAutosport, Dario Franchitti, DarioFranchitti, Events, Indy Car, Indy Car Series, IndyCar, izod indy car series, IZODIndyCarSeries, Long Beach Grand Prix, LongBeachGrandPrix, Mike Conway, MikeConway, News, ryan briscoe, RyanBriscoe, Target Chip Ganassi, TargetChipGanassi, Team Penske, TeamPenske, toyota grand prix of long beach, ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach, Video, will power, WillPower
At the last press day of the LA Auto Show I was floating around the Mazda Exhibit getting some last minute pictures when I noticed Townsend Bell taking a walk around the exhibit with a buddy. As they were checking out the new Mazda5 I thought I saw the words “KV Racing” on Townsend’s show badge. Could he be part of the three car effort that Lotus announced earlier that day? I wasn’t sure if I really saw what I thought I did so I approached Mr. Bell as a fan (which isn’t a lie) and took a picture of him. Thanks to the almighty “crop” feature in Photoshop I am able to confirm that he was attending the show under KV Racing’s association. He was also wearing a “Herbalife Racing” shirt could they be a new sponsor for the KV Racing team?
So far I haven’t found any official statement to confirm my suspicions but I think it would be awesome to see T. Bell back in Indy Car and driving for a quality team like KV Racing.
Tags: · 2010 LA Auto Show, herbalife racing, Indy Car, indy car racing, Indy Car Series, izod indy car series, kv racing, LA Auto Show, LAAS, lotus cars, lotus indy car team, lotus racing, News, rumors, townsend bell
Over the weekend the IZOD Indy Car series came right into our back yard for the 36th annual Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach. The party actually started at the beginning of last week with a huge media even at the track site. And there was a ton of racing outside Indy Car going on all weekend but there will be more on that in later posts. This is all about the big Indy race! Things started off on Saturday with Will Power capturing his 4th pole in 5 races so he was sitting comfortably up front, until the green flag dropped and Ryan Hunter-Reay made an early move for the lead then ran away with it. Ryan pushed as hard as he could for the first stint and built a huge cap. The fact that there was only one caution for the entire race just helped him all the more and in the end he took the top spot on the podium. Will Power and Justin Wilson followed behind in second and third respectively. Catch all the race highlights in the video below and check out three full galleries of coverage on the official MotorworldHype facebook page.
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Formula D wasn’t the only motorsport event going on this weekend. This past Sunday was the first Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park AKA one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world! I was so hyped to see the Indy cars finally make it to this venue. Enough of that though, lets get down to business. Despite Will Power capturing the pole position the stand out of the race was Marco Andretti. He was able to snag the lead near the beginning of the race and held onto it for 58 laps with Helio Castroneves nipping at his heels the whole way. Marco could have easily won this race however his strategist made an error in fuel calculation and unless there was a caution in the last half of the race Marco wouldn’t have the juice to finish. Unfortunately that caution never came and Marco was forced to come in with less than 10 laps to go allowing Helio to take the lead and eventually win the race. Scott Dixon grabbed second place and Dario Franchitti took third. Next up on the schedule is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend right here in our back yard. You can look forward to extensive coverage on this event! Check out the video below for highlights from the Alabama race.
Tags: · barber motosports park, Dario Franchitti, Features, Indy Car, indy car racing, Indy Car Series, indy grand prix of alabama, izod indy car series, Marco Andretti, News, open wheel racing, Scott Dixon, Video
It has been confirmed that the Aussie driver Will Power is going to be a permanent part of a three car Team Penske team in 2010. Will Power first started driving for Penske last year when he filled in for Helio Castroneves as he dealt with legal troubles. Once getting into a Penske car Will demonstrated some serious skill and ability to run up front. Check out the video below for Will’s comments and reaction to getting picked up by Mr. Penske for 2010.
Someone has finally decided to step up and be the next company to title sponsor an American open wheel racing series. Clothing company IZOD has decided to step up their sponsorship from “official apparel” to full on title sponsor for the Indy Car Series in 2010. Check out the video below for the press event and official announcement.