WE'RE AT LONG BEACH, BABY!!!
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of my favorite events on the American Le Mans Series calendar. It's not only one of the greatest street courses in the world that's challenging with a great flow, but it's one of the most fun and exciting events in all of racing. I mean, they've got all this great racing, drifting, motorcycle exhibitions, the automotive trade show in the convention center, the weather is amazing, tons of fans attending, fun activities for people of all ages, ROCK CONCERTS, celebrities - you name it, it's here at Long Beach. There is NO event with more energy and excitement than - LONG BEACH!
On the racing side, it's an event that we have very little track time at, so it's really important to show up prepared to hit the ground running. The cars need to be just right as they roll off the trailer, the drivers prepped and ready - mentally and physically - and very little opportunity to fine-tune, with only 1 practice session before qualifying, and then the short 2-hour race the next day.
Our ESM Racing / Tequila Patrón Honda/HPD P2 machines were good out of the box, and during practice I put up the fastest time for P1 in our class for quite a while, before eventually getting bumped back to third by our competitors, Level 5 Motorsports - who have been racing these P2 Honda/HPD's for 3 seasons now. So, although we're playing catch up, we're looking strong. In qualifying, my teammate Scott Sharp posted a great lap in the #01 car to earn us 2nd place on the grid, behind Ryan Briscoe of Level 5. Our sister car was qualified by Johannes van Overbeek to put the #02 car 3rd on the grid.
Later today is the race, and I can't wait. 2 short hours of non-stop action around the streets of Long Beach. I am SO ready, I can't stand it. I will start, and Scott will finish.
The race can be watched LIVE today on ESPN3 & XBOX LIVE at 7:15pm EDT, and tape-delayed on network television tomorrow - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - at 1:00pm EDT on ABC.
I hope you're as excited as I am and you'll tune in to watch the action as Scott, the ESM/Patrón team and myself go for the win!
Thanks for reading, and wish us luck!