CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach Fan Fest wrapup

Champ Car Season Premiere Fan Fest In Long Beach INDIANAPOLIS (March 11, 2004) -- Tuesday night's Fan Festival portion of the 2004 Champ Car Season Premiere in Long Beach drew a number of the staunch Champ Car supporters that the series has ...

Champ Car Season Premiere Fan Fest In Long Beach

INDIANAPOLIS (March 11, 2004) -- Tuesday night's Fan Festival portion of the 2004 Champ Car Season Premiere in Long Beach drew a number of the staunch Champ Car supporters that the series has enjoyed in Southern California since the thoroughbred racing machines made their debut in the west coast classic in 1984.

The fan-driven event began with 1996 Long Beach winner and series champion Jimmy Vasser (#12 NII Holdings Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) laying down some serious rubber in a pit stop demonstration outside the Long Beach Convention Center with the assistance from members from his PKV Racing squad-- a team in which Vasser will join as both owner and driver in 2004.

Following a run in which the veteran Champ Car pilot blazed through the drill three times with spirited doughnuts at each end of the mini-course, the fan's attention turned to the adjacent Convention Center where a number of Champ Car drivers awaited for autograph and question and answer sessions.

After announcements regarding the exciting future of Champ Car racing poured out of Long Beach the two previous days during the media portion of the Season Premiere, fans were given access to the drivers and proved they were up to date on such issues as the recently released 2004 schedule, television package and driver lineups.

"Being at the Fan Fest with all of those race fans really added to all of the excitement I have heading into my first Champ Car race at Long Beach next month," said 2003 Toyota Atlantic Champion and American rookie pilot A.J. Allmendinger. "It's been like a dream and hadn't really sunk in, but when the fans knew my name and knew about my career, it started to hit me. They were all so supportive and enthusiastic, that it makes me want to get in that RuSPORT car and give them a real show and not let them down. I can't wait to get back here for them."

The crowd was also given the opportunity to walk home with a myriad of Champ Car, Ford and Bridgestone-related merchandise through an ongoing raffle during the festival, where ticket packages for the 30th Anniversary of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach were among the many prizes.

The 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford opens up on the streets of downtown Long Beach, Calif. April 18th when 2003 Defending Champion Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Canada leads Americans Vasser and Allmendinger, Mexican owner/driver Adrian Fernandez, 2003 Champ Car Rookie of the Year Sebastien Bourdais of France and Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. of Mexico in the fight for the Vanderbilt Cup.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Michel Jourdain