39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach



We finally come to the last race of the weekend, the Pirelli World Challenge!  Aside from ALMS this is personally my second favorite race of the weekend, but I'm almost alone on this.  I know that most of the people that show up to the grand prix are there to party and can give half a nut about the actual racing, but damn!  As soon as the IndyCar race is over fans and vendors alike start packing up shop…WTF!?

There is a bright side to this.  The grand prix staff also stops checking tickets and you can grab yourself any seat in the house.  I highly suggest sitting very close to start/finish.  Why?  World Challenge has standing starts, that's why!  You have to be there and experience what 40 cars bouncing of their rev limiters simultaneously sounds like.  AWESOMENESS!


MotoIQ blogger Randy Pobst in his KPAX S60.  Randy and teammate Alex Figge had qualified 2 & 3 and were in a great position to fill the podium with KPAX representation.  The AWD S60s are very strong in the starts and we were all looking forward to the pownage they would lay down when they launched!


Cars on the rev limiters and the flag was ready to drop!  Once the flag dropped the entire field took off…except for Randy 🙁  What happened?  All we could see was Randy limping it around the track at a fraction of his usual speed.  Once he made it around to the pit entrance he brought the car in and never came back out.  


With Randy out it was up to Alex to keep the KPAX team out in front and hold of the charge of the #3 Cadillac.  Then in another random turn of events, with 4 laps left in the race Alex's Volvo goes flying off track and into the turn 1 wall.  This brought out a full course yellow and it looked like the #3 Cadillac would take home the win with the GMG R8 following close behind in second.


But wait!  Turns out the #3 Cadillac wouldn't be able to make it to the finish line.  The car started experiencing catastrophic overheating issues and had to shut it down.  This left a clear path for James Safronas to bring the GMG R8 home for the win.  Crazy!


The Blackdog Speedshop Chevy Camaro driven by Tony Gaples took home the win in GTS.


Turn 1 took out more than its fair share of cars this year.  Miscalculating the entry speed into this turn is the culprit for all the carnage here. 


Hope you have all enjoyed our coverage of the 39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Do yourself a favor and make a point of coming out and being part of this tremendous beach party next year.  We're all looking forward to what the 40th anniversary of the Grand Prix will have in store for us!


Grand Prix of Long Beach 


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