Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Champcar - didn't suck

I watched my first Champcar race in a couple of years on Sunday, with the start of the new season and the debut of the Las Vegas street circuit. I'll be honest - I wasn't expecting much, with only 17 cars, virtually all of them piloted by pay-to-play drivers, and everyone in brand-new, potentially unreliable cars.

Things didn't start well, as the field struggled to achieve a single green flag lap. Graham Rahal got spooked by an aggressive move by Dan Clarke and crashed as a result. He obviously complained about Clarke's maneouver, but it seemed to me that it was a rookie mistake.

Once things got going, it was clear that a number of drivers were pretty competitive. Everyone was expecting good things from experienced Champcar drivers Seb Bourdais and Paul Tracy, but I was pleased to see Robert Doornbos, Will Power, Neel Jani and others on or near the pace of the quick guys. This bodes well for a reasonably interesting season.

I'm driving 500 miles to go to the Long Beach GP this weekend to report on the ALMS race for The-Paddock.net, and hadn't planned on sticking around for the Champcars. I may have changed my mind...

1 comment:

patrick said...

They looked like more powerful GP2 cars, to watch, which can only be a good thing.

And unlike GP2, there was an absence of pay-clowns at the back getting lapped and going round 4s of the pace.

If they can sort out the car's reliability and the refuelling problems, it could yet be a decent series. On the evidence of Vegas, the new cars are an improvement, spectacle-wise.