The festivities from Long Beach are winding down as the Champ Cars just finished their second race of the season. The Long Beach Grand Prix has been a fixture on the open-wheel schedule for more than 20 years and even if the series has lost some of its drawing power, the racing was as good as ever.
Two-time defending champion Sebastien Bourdais looked to make it a threepeat on this oceanside street course that has been labeled America’s Monaco. Close enough to Hollywood to bring out the stars, the Long Beach weekend even hosts its own celebrity race, which we covered Sunday morning. One of the celebs on hand for that race served as honorary starter for the GP. And Star Wars creator George Lucas did a better job on the stand than he did in the Scion on Saturday. ALMS also made an appearance this weekend in Long Beach for the first time ever, and based on the crowd, we’d guess it will be back. But Sunday was all about Champ Car.
After a rough start to the season in Las Vegas, three-time defending series champion Sebastien Bourdais was looking to get back on track, so to speak, and return to his winning ways. With two previous wins here, it came as no surprise to find him on pole for Sunday’s main event. Looking to have a successful follow-up to his Vegas win, Team Australia’s Will Power (almost as good a name as Scott Speed for a racer) bested teammate Simon Pagenaud for second on the grid. Behind Pagenaud were Alex Tagliani (RSPORTS), Bourdais teammate G. Rahal (Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing), Former F1 pilot Robert Doornbos (Minardi Team USA), Justin Wilson (RSPORTS), former champion Bruno Junqueira (Dale Coyne Racing), Tristan Gommendy (PKV Racing), and veteran Mario Dominguez (Forsythe Championship Racing). One late substitution found former series regular Oriol Servia filling in for the injured Paul Tracy in the other Forsythe car. Servia qualified 14th. Race day was typically spectacular with a big crowd, endless blue skies, and lots of excitement. Click through to see the race results.
[Source: Champ Car World Series]