Monday, April 12, 2010

Long Beach

John Marine | 4/12/2010 11:20:00 PM |
(UPDATED: May 19, 2012)

Since 1975, the streets of Long Beach, Calfornia, USA has played host to many Long Beach Grands Prix. It is become an Indy car staple since 1984 as well as a former Formula 1 Grand Prix event. Today's Long Beach circuit is 1.968 miles of SoCal racing goodness. While many other street courses in the United States have been phased out (including two races here in Houston), Long Beach has stood strong for over 35 years (as of this blog entry). In the past, this course was longer. Today's Long Beach is still capable and tough. Eleven corner comprise this almost 2-mile street course. This course is used for other events like the Pro Celebrity Race as well as Formula Drift's usage of the backstretch through Turn 11. This will be one weekend out of the year where drifting is legal in Long Beach. It's also a track in Namco's Pole Position 2, though it's called "Seaside." Whatever you call it, it's one of the most storied courses in North America.

--- Long Beach ---

Let's look at the track map (and this was honestly the best one I could find and use, so it's this or nothing):
Long Beach street course
^ from: - The streets of Long Beach provide an intense challenge. It still does even for this decades-old street course.

East Shoreline Drive is the road you're on as you begin your Odyssey on the streets of Long Beach. It is a sweeping right that leads into Turn 1. The first corner is bound to provide some action, as with any classic road or street course. Don't be surprised to see a pile-up or even a few cars veering way off course here. A ride down Aquarium Way leads to turns 2 and 3. These two corners circulate around the lovely fountain at Long Beach. Turn 4 is a pretty sharp right-hander while Turn 5 is a bit easier corner. Turn 5 leads you onto West Shoreline Drive down to a very sharp Turn 6. A kink in the road at Turn 7 leads to Turn 8. Blasting down East Seaside Way, you go full song through a few underpasses all the way to the 90° Turn 9. The road then winds into the somewhat simple Turn 10, and the only thing seperating you from the finish line is the super-sharp hairpin at Turn 11. Get back on East Shoreline Drive to do Long Beach all over again.

You can take my description, or have a pro do it much better than I:

Or this video:

^ Patrick Long at Long Beach in Qualifying in 2007.

Thank you for reading!

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