2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:16 pm

For the 44th time since the Formula 5000 race in 1975, the streets of Long Beach, California host a week of auto racing festivities! Eight days removed from a thrilling short oval showdown at Phoenix, the Verizon IndyCar Series returns to its premier street circuit for the third race of 2018.

Last year's running saw James Hinchcliffe return to victory lane for the first time in two years, marking the end of a long road to recovery from his near-life-ending crash at Indianapolis in 2015. Considering the strength that the Schmidt-Peterson cars have shown in the first two races of the year, The Mayor should be one of the biggest contenders once again on race day. The same can be said for fellow Canadian Robert Wickens, whose performances thus far have exceeded what were already very high expectations for the accomplished junior formulae and DTM racer. With a pair of brilliant drives at both St. Petersburg and at Phoenix (his very first race on an oval), he lost the lead only within the final five laps each time.

Some other drivers whose odds are looking good for the race so far include the Andretti Autosport teammates of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi. Both drivers were very fast in last year's race, and both of them were in the top four in all three practice sessions. Rossi topped the charts in Practices 2 and 3, with Scott Dixon being the fastest in Practice 1. Dixon, the 2015 race winner, has not finished worse than second here since 2014.

In other news unrelated to this weekend's race, two more cars were confirmed earlier this week to be contesting the 102nd Indianapolis 500. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing made official an expected entry of a car #66 to be piloted by J. R. Hildebrand, and a more surprising revelation came in the form of James Davison's confirmation to be driving a car #33. Fielded by A. J. Foyt Enterprises in partnership with Jonathan Byrd, Brian Belardi, and Brad Hollinger, this car will have a lot more people dedicated to working on it than the third car that Foyt has been fielding at Indy in recent years, and with some very big names managing it, as well. This will be Hildebrand's eight and Davison's fourth attempt at the Indy 500.

Coverage of qualifying begins tonight at 6:30 P.M. Eastern on NBCSN, with race coverage beginning on Sunday at 4:00!
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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by PackerMan71 on Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:17 pm

Based on what we saw at St. Pete, and based on what we've been seeing in practice, this has the makings of St. Pete version 2 happening.

In other words, an epic race. Hopefully that's the case tomorrow.
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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm

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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:49 pm

Dat pass by Bourdais... o_O
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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by PackerMan71 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:14 pm

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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by SpeedDemon37 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:59 pm

The NBCSN crew was right in that Rossi's been driving with a different attitude lately. He wants to be - and expects to be - the fastest in every session. I'm stating the obvious here, but it's safe to say that he's now 100% settled into the role of being an IndyCar driver, and now that that's the case, he's proven that he's going to be one of the biggest threats for the championship this year. Hard to call him the definite favorite when the Schmidt cars, the Penske cars, Bourdais, and others are all so quick, but at this point he is definitely one of the top contenders.

Considering how uncertain that he was recently as to where he wanted his career to go, even for a while after winning the 500, it's great to see Rossi happy to be where he is, and confident that he's one of the best. I'm happy that he got the well-deserved win today, and I hope that we see more success from him as the season progresses!

Oh, and if anyone wants to outdo S├ębastien Bourdais for pass of the year, then they're going to have to try something completely ridiculous. The fact that he pulled that one off was incredible! Very Happy (And great job to Matheus Leist, as well, for the heads-up driving!)
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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by The_Wall_91 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:15 pm

The future of Indycar has me really excited. This season, there is a combination of talented veterans, up and coming youth, and great rookies that are very close together and have shown much promise.

Bourdais is driving as good as he did when he was dominating the field. Rossi has really come in to his own as of late by showing the true talent that he possesses after winning the 500 and how he has driven since. Newgarden, Pagenaud, and Power can not be counted out along with Dixon. You can make a very strong argument that Robert Wickens could have 2 wins in 3 starts and could still, potentially, win the championship if his luck turns around. Veach had a strong showing today and the 500 is shaping up to be amazing.

I hope Indycar can keep their current success going.

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Re: 2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Post by Alpineopossum on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:07 am

Rossi did a sterling job and deserved the win. He smoked everybody, and drove one of the finest races at Long Beach I've seen.

I have to disagree with the Bourdais penalty, and to be honest I have never been a big fan of the pit exit and the rules surrounding it at Long Beach. And Jordan King's move on Bourdais and Hinch was ridiculous. I think a lot of people who come from GP2/F2 and GP3 tend to be overly aggressive at times, and King (whom I think has a ton of talent and could be a big star) showed that.

Overall it was a great race, and Indycar has real momentum. I'm excited about the future of Indycar and road racing in general, since IMSA is off to a great start as well.
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