Where will I be this weekend? Better yet, where should I be right now? That's right, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, where awesome race cars take over the streets of Long Beach for three days.
I cannot wait, despite the fact that I can't even remember how many years I've gone. I figure that if I'm lucky enough to live in an area that offers such a race, I might as well do my "duty" and support it each year.
For the past few years, I've had seats right at the start/finish line (and right across from the pits), right where they come screaming by at 175mph+. Do you know what kind of an adrenaline rush that is?! If you have never had the pleasure of watching 750HP methanol-fueled, 2.65 liter turbocharged V-8 Ford-powered Champ Cars race through your downtown streets, you are missing out. I love it and wouldn't miss it. That's not even to mention the drifting, celebrity race, and other races going on throughout the weekend.
CART is "the acronym for Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc. The organization sanctions the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, the Toyota Atlantic Championship and the Barber Dodge Pro Series. CART is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MPH."
This weekend's Long Beach stop marks Round 2 of the Champ Car World Series; last weekend Will Power won Round 1 in Las Vegas, followed by Robert Doornbos and Paul Tracy. (Sebastien Bourdais absolutely dominated the Long Beach course (and competition) last year and qualified second already in today's Qualifying Session 1. In my opinion, he needed to be docked a lap just to give him a challenge last year and keep the crowd from falling asleep! I predict he'll win again on Sunday, but we'll see!)
The chassis of the 2007 Champ Cars are constructed by Elan Motorsports in Braselton, GA, and have a code name 2007 DP01 Champ Car. They are lighter, more economical, and have a new aerodynamics package. 0-60 in 2.2 seconds and 0-100 in 4.2 seconds, these Champ cars reach a top speed of about 240 mph. But this comes at a huge price, as simply a "rolling chassis" starts at around $450,000, and you're looking at least $2 million to get into the Champ Car World Series, and more like $5-$10 million annually. Champ cars have a higher top speed than Forumla One, NASCAR, and IRL cars; check out other cool comparisons between the types of cars.