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Notes From The Long Beach Paddock

P2 Interest Growing

According to sources at Long Beach, there appears to have been a recent surge of interest in P2 class cars.  Still no firm orders yet, but this trend is definitely beyond what has been seen in quite some time.

This does go somewhat against the thought that P2 would be a hard sell heading into the combined series for 2014, especially when taking into consideration the recent story from John Dagys and SPEED concerning the opinions on the current DP competitors. 

The common perception is that the likely way the regs will balance out for the future is that there will be some sort of advantage to the Daytona Prototype cars.  Maybe that thought, at least away from the DP competitors, is changing a bit.  Time will tell.

Long Beach – The Future

With Indy Car Racing struggling to hold much relevance here, the Long Beach Grand Prix has been in the midst in recent years of a downturn.  This is even becoming noticed by the local government, who wants to reverse that trend. Long Beach is a race that used to have international importance, but those days are long gone.  Even the deadline media room was well below capacity – much lower than in the past few years.

Because of this lack of international importance, there are some that are longing for a return back to the roots of this race – F-1.

According to Gordon Kirby, the US correspondent for Motorsport and who also wrote about the story in his website, Chris Pook (Long Beach GP Founder) and Bernie Ecclestone, among others are pursuing the purchase of the lease and are obviously looking at returning F-1 to the streets of Long Beach.

This was the topic of many conversations at Long Beach, with most shaking their heads about it.  While the circuit and surrounding area, as well as at track amenities are quite nice, they are far from what the modern F-1 community demands.

Another odd thing about this possible deal is the F-I schedule.  Really – a projected three races here in the States when it was only a year ago that we had none.  Zero.  Somebody will be making money in this endeavor – no fair guessing who…

I know when I left the circuit late on Saturday, I was really wondering if indeed this may have been our last time visiting.  While I was finally able to write my name on the list this year, I don’t think I would even be able to come close to be able to do so if it was F-1.

2013 Schedule

I don’t get it.  They own the track at Road Atlanta and the Grand Am race date still had to be the same as Long Beach?  Really?  Especially when there are quite a few common parties between the emerging series?  Couldn’t that have been changed some how?

There are lots of head scratchers in this world and believe me, that was one of the biggest in quite some time…

Gary Horrocks