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
The second day of the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach is a favorite among most race fans because not only is it the day of the Toyota Pro Celebrity Race (AKA celebrity pinball) but it is also the day of the American LeMans race. Unlike the other series racing over the weekend the ALMS guys have their main race on Saturday instead of Sunday so that the teams have time to get ready for the 24 hours of Le Mans race in France. This is also the reason why Audi rarely shows up to the Grand Prix Of Long Beach. Saturday is also the day knock-out qualifying for the Indy Cars as well as qualifying for the World Challenge guys. On this day I took the time to take another stroll through the Indy Car Garage as they got ready for qualifying then I visited the ALMS garage as they prepped for the race and camped out at a few spots track side getting shots as they battled it out. You can check out a few pics below and view the full gallery on our Facebook page. You can also get the full results of the ALMS race here. Enjoy!
Tags: · 2011 Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, 2011ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach, American LeMans Series, AmericanLeMansSeries, Events, Features, Long Beach Grand Prix, LongBeachGrandPrix, toyota grand prix of long beach
April is probably my favorite time of year next to December. Why? By the time April rolls around Formula 1 has already gotten off to its start, Indy Car has begun, Formula D kicks off in Long Beach, and the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach kicks off a week after! Granted it is a lot of work to cover it all but I still love it! If you don’t know, the Grand Prix Of Long Beach is a combination of races that take place over three days on the literal streets of Long Beach. The nearly 2 mile course takes the drivers down the scenic Shoreline Drive and through other downtown Long Beach landmarks like the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Long Beach Convention center. There is also a “Lifestyle Expo” inside the convention center put on by AAA that usually has some fun stuff going on.
Since it is a “Grand Prix” event, in just this one weekend you can watch several series go at it on the course including Indy Car (main race, American LeMans, Indy Lights, World Challenge, and even a Formula Drift sanctioned “Team Drift” competition (a crowd favorite).
Friday is one of the best days to go because the tickets are cheap, there is no reserved seating on Friday (sit in any grandstand you want), and the teams from all the series are either practicing or getting ready for the weekend so it is a great time to watch badass race cars get prepped by professionals. So, that’s exactly what I did! Friday I cruised around the Expo, paid a visit to the Indy Car garage, World Challenge garage, and American LeMan’s garage. Then, I shot some practice photos as well as a few candids from the Indy Car autograph session.
You can cruse through all the photos in our Facebook gallery. Stay tuned for more galleries and posts from days 2 and 3!
Tags: · 2011 Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, 2011ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach, American LeMans Series, Events, facebook, Features, Indy Car Series, IZODIndyCarSeries, Long Beach Grand Prix, LongBeachGrandPrix, photo gallery, World Challenge Racing
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
While crusing the Auto Club Expo here at the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach I spotted a prinstine example of a full-Mugen Honda CR-Z in the Indy Car Fan village. Leave it to Mugen to make a Hybrid look super fresh! If you are in So-Cal you definitely need to come out to the Grand Prix here in Long Beach and see all this cool stuff for yourself!
Tags: · Events, Features, honda cr-z, HondaCR-Z, HondaCRZ, hybrid, Long Beach Grand Prix, LongBeachGrandPrix, Mugen, mugen cr-z, MugenCR-Z, sport hybrid, toyota grand prix of long beach, ToyotaGrandPrixOfLongBeach
During the first day of Formula Drift Round 1: Streets Of Long Beach we caught up with Dai Yoshihara right after qualifying to talk about his new website RFJP.org, changes hes made to his Discount Tire S13, who he felt his competition was for Long Beach, and his new line of wheels. Check it out below.
Tags: · Dai, Dai Yoshihara, Discount Tire, Discount Tire Drift, DiscountTireDrift, Drift, Drifting, Falken, falken drift team, FalkenDrift, falkentire, formula d long beach, Formula Drift, Formula Drift Long Beach 2011, FormulaD, formuladrift, interviews, Japan, Long Beach Grand Prix, Nissan, Nissan S13, NissanS13, redcross, S13, Slivia S13, SliviaS13
The 2010 Formula Drift season officially kicked off over the weekend with Round 1 taking place on the streets of Long Beach. All the pre-season hype was over and it was time for all the teams with new cars to put their money where their mouths were. Questions were answered and more were asked but when all the tire smoke cleared it was Vaughn Gittin Jr on top of the podium thanks to his new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang. Taking 2nd place was Rhys Millen in his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe and coming in 3rd was Tanner Foust in his Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC thus creating an all energy drink podium.
So what were some of the highlights from the weekend? Well Long Beach was to be the debut for several new cars such as Sam Hubinette’s Dodge Challenger, and Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Chevy Camaro. However not all the new cars made it to the grid. Noticably absent was the Hankook Tire GT-R built by Gruppe-S/Dynamic Autosport for Robbie Nishida as well as the Hankook Tire Subaru WRX for Irish driver Eric O’Sullivan. Both cars failed to pass a last minute tech inspection and were not allowed to run. You can follow up on that drama on WreckedMagazine.com.
I am happy to say that the other highlight wasn’t controversial but a shocker nonetheless. Nordic driver Fredric Aasbo was extremely impressive in his Toyota Supra and shocked the crowed when he took down 2009 Formula D Champion Chris Forsberg in the top 16! Aasbo made it all the way to the final four where he lost to Vaughn Gittin Jr. in what some would call a questionable call by Formula D judges. Aasbo then had to take on Tanner Foust but it appeared as if his confidence was shaken since Tanner made quick work of Aasbo who seemed hesitant to stick close to Tanner during the battle. Vaughn used the momentum from his earlier win over Aasbo to take on Rhys Millen in a heated battle. But when Rhys spun and crashed into the tire barrier on his second run he handed the victory to Gittin thus securing the all energy drink podium.
With Long Beach wrapped up it is on to Road Atlanta where hopefully some of the cars who had trouble in Long Beach will be all sorted. WIll Vaughn be able to repeat down south? WIll the new Hankook Tire cars be ready for the next round? We’ll do our best to keep you posted!
In the mean time you can check out our 2 day gallery on our Facebook page or you can check out UrbanRacer.com’s gallery full of yummy action shots.
Tags: · 2010, 2011 ford mustang drift car, carbon fiber 2011 ford mustang, Drift, Drifting, falken tire, Formula D, formula d long beach, Formula Drift, formula drift long beach, Hyundai, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Hyundai Genesis Coupe Drift Car, Long Beach Grand Prix, Monster Energy Drink, NASCAR engine scion tc, Red Bull, Rhys Millen, rhys millen hyundai genesis coupe, Rockstar Energy Drink, Scion tC Drift Car, Tanner Foust, vaughn gittin jr
There are two pretty huge weekends coming up in Long Beach this month. The first is Formula Drift Round 1: Streets Of Long Beach then the weekend after that is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. To make things a little more efficient there was a combined media day for both events yesterday and there was a bit of everything on hand. Media had a chance to meet and greet with the famous faces that will be competing in the Toyota Celebrity Race, hang out with some of the top drivers from Formula Drift, and go on ride alongs with a few cars from the World Challenge series, including Patrick Dempsey in a Mazda6.
Naturally with all of this going on in our backyard I decided to take the short trip down the 710 and take in the festivities. I even got to have lunch with Patrick Dempsey and Adam Corolla! Check out a few pics below and a full gallery on our Facebook page.
Coverage presented By
Tags: · Adam Corolla, Adrian Brody, Celebrity Race Scion, Christian Slater, dr mcdreamy, Drift, Drifting, Events, Features, Formula D, formula d long beach, Formula Drift, Formula Drift Streets Of Long Beach, GPLB, Grey's Anatomy, LBGP, Long Beach Grand Prix, Love Line, Mazda, patrick dempsey, The Man Show, toyota celebrity race, toyota grand prix of long beach, World Challenge Series
Word from Mazda USA has it that Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey will race during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. However it won’t be in the “celebrity race” and it wont be in an obnoxiously loud Scion. Patrick will run a Tri-Point Motorsports prepped 2010 MAZDA3 in the World Challenge race on Sunday April 18th. I’m interested to see how he does in a field full of young, hungry, and considerably less polite competitors in the World Challenge series! When race weekend comes around I’ll see if I can get a statement for you guys.
March 29, 2010 (Irvine, Calif.).
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development today confirmed that Patrick Dempsey will race a 2010 MAZDA3 prepared by Tri-Point Motorsports in the World Challenge race during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. Dempsey normally races a Mazda RX-8 in the Rolex Grand-Am GT series.
About the weekend and the difference in racecars, Dempsey said, “I’m thrilled to be able to race near my Los Angeles home. With the Grand-Am series, I’ve been able to race at many of the great tracks in North America, but now I have a chance to race locally. The Tri-Point MAZDA3 really impressed me during testing. I’ve never driven a front-wheel drive racecar that handled that well before. I shouldn’t have been surprised though as my daily driver is a MAZDASPEED3. The weekend will also be personally rewarding to me as we’ll be carrying the colors of our Dempsey Challenge.”
The Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen is a non-competitive fundraising event for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center. The 2010 event will take place October 2nd and 3rd in Lewiston, Maine. More information, including registration materials, can be found at www.dempseychallenge.org
The World Challenge series is for production-based racecars and features three classes, GT, GTS, and TC2. Dempsey will be racing against over two dozen other professional drivers in cars ranging from Porsches, Corvettes, Vipers, Acuras, to Scions. The Tri-Point MAZDA3 will compete in the GTS class.
The World Challenge race is a part of the multi-race Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, April 16-18. The World Challenge race will take place on Sunday, April 18th. Ticket information can be found at www.gplb.com
Also at Long Beach the same weekend:
■Mazda will compete in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron race on Saturday afternoon with the Dyson Lola-Mazda MZR-R LMP car. The ALMS car will be carrying ARCO colors for the two California races (Long Beach, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May). ARCO is a part of BP, the primary technical partner with Mazda on the powertrain development. The Mazda car will be the only entry fueled by isobutanol, a BP developed bio fuel. Team information can be found at www.dysonracing.com
■Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development & Quality, Mazda North American Operations will be the keynote speaker at the “The Race Has Gone Green” sustainable motorsports conference to be held Friday, April 16th at the Long Beach Grand Prix. The conference is sponsored by SEMA and the MIA. Conference information can be found at www.sema.org/RaceGoneGreen
■MAZDASPEED will also be a supporter of the Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) Salute to Parnelli Jones on the evening of Thursday, April 15th. The annual RRDC gala is a fundraiser for the Team USA Scholarship program. Over the past several years, many of the Team USA scholarship winners have come from the ranks of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development series. Information can be found at www.rrdc.org
Tags: · 2010 MAZDA3, dr mcdreamy, Grey's Anatnomy, Long Beach Grand Prix, Mazda, mazdaspeed motorsports, News, patrick dempsey, Racing, SCCA World Challenge, toyota grand prix of long beach, Tri-Point Motorsports
Before you know it the LBGP will be descending upon So Cal again and I personally can’t wait. The last few years I went I was lucky enough to have pit lane access and it was awesome. Unfortunately most people can’t share in that without having a media pass or some other special badge. However if you’re lucky you might have a shot at pit access and a ton more. The National Teen Leadership Program is holding a $5 raffle for pretty pit package for the 2010 Long Beach Grand Prix.
The raffle winner gets a lap around the track in a two-seater indy car, 2 tickets to race day, 2 tickets to practice day, a one on one meet with Dan Weldon, and a pit area tour! That is a pretty sweet prize for a 5 dollar ticket! You can get more info on the raffle HERE. Good Luck.