CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHEN: Friday-Sunday, April 7-9 SUPPORT EVENTS: Toyota Atlantic, Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, Speed World Challenge, Toyota Pro/Celebrity, Formula D Drifting CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local): FRIDAY, APRIL 7 -- 9:00 -- 9:45...

WHEN: Friday-Sunday, April 7-9

SUPPORT EVENTS: Toyota Atlantic, Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, Speed World Challenge, Toyota Pro/Celebrity, Formula D Drifting

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, APRIL 7 -- 9:00 -- 9:45 a.m., Atlantic practice; 10:00 --11:15 a.m., Champ Car practice; 1:20 -- 1:50 p.m., Atlantic qualifying; 2:05 -- 3:05 p.m. Champ Car qualifying.

SATURDAY, APRIL 8 -- 9:45 -- 10:15 a.m., Atlantic practice; 10:30 -- 11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice; 1:15 -- 1:45 p.m., Atlantic qualifying; 2:00 -- 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SUNDAY, APRIL 9 -- 8:35 -- 8:50 a.m., Atlantic warmup; 9:00 -- 9:30 a.m., Champ Car warmup; 10:35 -- 11:35 a.m., Atlantic race; 1:00 p.m., START OF LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:

SUNDAY, APRIL 9 -- Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, NBC, 4 p.m. EST (live).

2005 CHAMPION: Sebastien Bourdais
2005 POLESITTER: Paul Tracy

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.968-mile temporary street course
RACE LENGTH: 76 laps, 149.568 miles

TRACK RECORDS:
Qualifying (one lap) -- 2005, Paul Tracy, 104.983 mph (1:07.485).

Race -- 2004, Paul Tracy, 91.785 mph (1:44:12.348) based on 81 laps (159.408 miles)

RACE ROUND: 1 of 15 in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

WHO'S HOT

Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is coming off back-to-back Champ Car World Series championship titles. Last year in Long Beach Bourdais won after recording his lowest starting position in over a year. On the streets of Long Beach the Frenchman has never qualified lower than fifth.

After leading the most laps, recording two wins and three pole positions in 2005, Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) looks to further assault Champ Car record books in 2006. In last year's Long Beach Grand Prix the Canadian took the pole position and finished second. Overall, Tracy owns 4 LBGP wins, 2 pole positions, and 5 podium finishes.

Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) celebrated his second career win and his highest point finish of third at the last race of 2005 in Mexico City. He is looking to build on that momentum going into 2006. In two starts in Long Beach the Briton has yet to finish outside of the top-six.

After moving over to PKV Racing Oriol Servia (#6 Gulfstream/Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) looks to pick up where he left off in 2005, recording his first pole position, first Champ Car win, and second on the point chart. In Long Beach, Servia has recorded one top-ten start and finish.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Bruno Junqueira (#2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is looking forward to getting back on track after his season ending crash in last year's Indianapolis 500. Last year in Long Beach Junqueira started from the outside pole and finished on the podium. In the Brazilian's last three starts in Long Beach he has one pole position, and his worst finish has been third.

After his best season to date, A.J. Allmendinger (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) looks to pick up where he finished in 2005. In the last two events last season, the American recorded two second place finishes and had his best points finish to date. In Long Beach Allmendinger has one Champ Car Atlantic Series victory and pole position.

Toyota Atlantic standout Katherine Legge (#20 Gulfstream/Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) recorded her first win in her first start at last year's Grand Prix of Long Beach, becoming the first woman to win a major open-wheel event in the USA. This year Legge will make her first Champ Car start with PKV Racing at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Charles Zwolsman (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) joins the Champ Car ranks after capturing the 2005 Champ Car Atlantic crown and rookie of the year title. Last year in the Atlantic race in Long Beach, the Dutchman started at the back of the field due to a post-qualifying inspection problem and drove all the way up to third before the checkered flag flew.

DID YOU KNOW

In the 1880s the area now known as Long Beach was owned by a gentleman named William E. Wilmore, who at the time proposed the area become a farming community called Wilmore City. It was a good thing he was bought out by the "Long Beach Land and Water Company", who renamed the area Long Beach for its long beaches or the city may have never become the seaside getaway it is today. Under their tutelage the town grew into a resort area with famous attractions like The Pike. The Pike was one of the most famous beachside amusement parks on the West coast from 1910 until the 1960's, where it once was is now the area now known as the Champ Car Paddock. During these years Long Beach also grew into the second busiest seaport in the United States . The combined operations of the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles are the busiest in the USA. First ran in 1977, Long Beach Grand Prix is currently the single largest event held in Long Beach. Over the years it has transitioned from Formula 5000 to Formula 1 to finally a Champ Car race. This year Champ Car will be making their 22 trip to the streets of Long Beach.

BY THE NUMBERS

34,000 -- The number of slips the Long Beach Marina holds, making it the largest municipally owned and operated marina in the country. 30,000 -- How many average working hours it takes to put together the Long Beach course. 345 -- Average days of sunshine that falls on Long Beach. 22 -- How many miles you will drive from Los Angles to Long Beach. 13 -- How many times an American racer has taken the checkered flag first in the Long Beach Grand Prix. 9 -- The number of Long Beach winners that have gone on to take the Champ Car Championship 4 -- The most consecutive Long Beach wins any one driver has recorded (Al Unser Jr. 1988-1991). 3 -- How many miles of fencing goes into creating the Long Beach course. 2 -- The number of last names (Andretti and Unser) that won the first eight Long Beach Grand Prixs.

-ccws-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Al Unser Jr. , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Katherine Legge , Charles Zwolsman