ALMS Racing at Long Beach Grand Prix
Photography: D. Brian Smith
The Team Patron LMP #1 car, raced by Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham, won the ALMS race on Saturday, with a spectacular last-lap pass and overall victory. Well-done Team Tequila Patron!
American Le Mans Series followers, McDreamy swooners, WCC enthusiasts and all-around streets of Long Beach road racing enthusiasts it doesn’t get any better than witnessing all the frenetic action on the streets of Long Beach. We’re likely to say this several times throughout the narrative – watching road racing on a closed city or country street circuit hearkens back to the early days of auto racing. Beyond that, it’s way cool and arguably as interesting and exciting as witnessing a race on a state-of-the-art road course at one of the world class racing circuits.
Nick Mancuso in the Lake Forest Sports Cars Aston Martin DB9, started the race in the GT class in 17th position and finished in the same spot.
Especially in a city setting like Long Beach, there’s a party atmosphere surrounding the road course. Being a hecitic Southern California beach community, the streets of Long Beach are already abuzz with activity all-year ’round. When the Long Beach Grand Prix rolls into town every April, the city’s a fire breathing cauldron of automotive racing and enthusiast nirvana, nourished by all the Indy Racing League, American Le Mans Racing Series, World Challenge Cup series, and Indy Lights series teams, not to mention the millions of auto racing fans, automotive journalists and media, movie and television stars, and even Long Beach vacationers that happen to be in the city during this mega happening.
Gonzalez and Leitzinger placed 19th, racing a GTC class Porsche 911.
All of the hotels within the confines of the Grand Prix racing circuit were at the limits of their capacity. Surrounding restaurants all had a party like atmosphere, with drink and dining specials attracting the crowd of hungry and thirsty automotive racing aficionados. Of course, good old American entrepreneurship was also everywhere. Bars, nightclubs, and exclusive dining destinations all had their employees out offering dinner and beverage specials to lure and hook the speed loving and high horsepower yearning crowd with dollars to spend in their establishments. The typical splendid Southern California weather didn’t disappoint. Throughout the event we enjoyed sunny skies, a light cooling breeze, and temperatures in the mid-60s to 70s Fahrenheit.
In the ALMS race, the #16 Dyson Racing Lola B09 86/Mazda came 4th, piloted by Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. Can you say Zoom, Zoom, Zoom – in your face? We know you can.
Though the action was non-stop in the clubs, bars, and hotels of Long Beach during the Grand Prix week, producers of all of the racing on the Long Beach circuit managed all of the practice, qualifying, and racing sessions with the utmost in precision. All of the sessions on track went off with nary a hitch. Sure, there were a few spinouts and a couple or maybe a trio of wrecks throughout the week. But, the Long Beach Grand Prix, with all of the different race series, was boiled down to its elements. Hundreds of well-oiled, engineered, built, and raced machines that offered spectators, racers, mechanics, teams, Long Beach business people, and photojournalist scribes like us here at Redline Review – all the racing exploits and fun that we could ever hope to witness and take part in for one week without getting thrown in jail for breaking the law.
American Le Mans Series fans take this to heart – if you enjoy watching auto racing and you live in the United States of America, you need to travel to Long Beach in April when the Grand Prix comes to town. In addition to all the cool ALMS action, you’ll get to see the IndyCar series, the Indy Lights series and the WCC cars commanding center stage before the main races of ALMS and IndyCar. But no worries, if you can’t make it, we’ll provide all the ALMS coverage right here.
The Tecate Light Girls were long on looks and appeared to be under age, when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages. They must have been of age.
Julian and Jeannette piloted the #99 Ryobi racer to a 5th place finish in the ALMS Prototype class.
Tequila Patron fielded two F430 GT Ferraris, the #01 car and the #02 machine. They finished 15th and 16th respectively.
Like the pros teach at every automotive racing school, look ahead to where you’re going. Spot the apex and guide the car to where you’re looking.