Up-Close Action Is What Makes the Long Beach Grand Prix So Brilliant | Autance

Only a barrier separates the fans from the racing.

  • 221
Up-Close Action Is What Makes the Long Beach Grand Prix So Brilliant | Autance © Up-Close Action Is What Makes the Long Beach Grand Prix So Brilliant | Autance

I’ve written about this before, but I can’t stop blabbering about it. One of the things that makes the Long Beach Grand Prix (LBGP) so brilliant is the fact that the fans can get so close to the action.

Car: BMW M6 GT3, Porsche 911 GT3R, Cadillac DPi
Location: Long Beach, California
Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram + Twitter: @16vPete)
Camera: Canon 6D + EF 35-85mm AF Zoom

There’s nothing like walking down a municipal sidewalk while a motorsport event is happening right next to you. With a big concrete barrier and chain-link fence serving as the only protection, some of the fastest race cars ever conceived duke it out with one another just a few feet away.

The action is especially close-up, as the course is tight, technical, and tricky, so racers have very little room to make moves on one another. They have to rely on braking strategies and exit speed, all while fending off one-to-three cars right on their back bumpers. Positions are lost quite quickly off-line, which is only exasperated by “being in the marbles,” meaning in the area of the track where small chunks of disintegrated tire accumulate, which can turn anywhere that isn’t the racing line into an ice rink.

I was stoked to snap this photo at this year’s installment of the LBGP. Pictured is a Whelen Cadillac DPi car that presumably got past everyone quite easily on the previous straightaway. Following behind are Bill Auberlen in his GT3 BMW M6 and Katharine Legge in her Grid Rival/Richard Mille/Champion Porsche 911 GT3R.

More great stories on Car Autance

• Our Rivian RT1 Review Rundown compiles takeaways from top car journalists on the new electric pickup truck. Check it out to get a big range of perspectives on this vehicle in one place.

• This retrospective on Ford’s surprisingly effective youth marketing from the 2000s is a nice dose of near-past nostalgia.

• Upgrading a BMW ZHP with Toyota Camry parts… it’s a thing, and the results can be better than you might expect.

• Keeping an old Land Rover alive is a never-ending education on good repair procedures.

• Our guy in Ohio bought a car that the internet loves to love, but the fun didn’t last.

Commnets 0
Leave A Comment