• Apr 21st 2008 at 2:32PM
  • 11


Click above for high-res gallery from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

This past weekend saw the end of an era as the Champ Car World Series held its last ever race. Although the race in Long Beach came after the merger with the Indy Racing League and after the kickoff of the inaugural joint season, pre-existing commitments sent the Champ Car teams to California (sponsored by Toyota) while Danica Patrick was claiming her maiden victory in Japan (sponsored by Honda). The forked race weekend, however, was to be the last, as the Champ Car World Series has formally filed for bankruptcy with several of its teams folding into the IndyCar Series.

Australian driver Will Power (seriously, that's his name) dominated the race virtually from start to finish, leading 81 out of the 83 laps. Former F1 test driver Franck Montagny impressively took the second step on the podium on his first and last Champ Car race beside veteran Mario Dominquez in third. Pole sitter Justin Wilson was forced to retire with engine troubles on the 12th lap, as did his young team mate Graham Rahal – winner of the IRL race in St. Petersburg two weeks prior – who crashed on the last lap. Both Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy returned to the race seat for the Long Beach event, but weren't sharp enough to pose a serious threat to Power. The Panoz DP01, having turned their final laps, will now be mothballed as the migrating teams rejoin their IRL colleagues next weekend in Kansas City.

  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power of Australia drives the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia KV Racing DP01 Ford Cosworth leads on track during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 20, 2008 Long Beach, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Franck Montagny of France drives the #7 Forsythe Pettit Racing DP01 Ford Cosworth during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power of Australia drives of the #8 KV Racing Technology DP01 Ford Cosworth during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: A general view of cars pitting during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 20, 2008 Long Beach, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power (C) of Australia, driver of the #8 KV Racing Technology DP01 Ford Cosworth, celebrates in victory circle after winning the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power of Australia drives the #8 KV Racing Technology DP01 Ford Cosworth during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power of Australia, driver of the #8 KV Racing Technology DP01 Ford Cosworth, celebrates in the victory circle after winning the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power (2L) of Australia, driver of the #8 KV Racing Technology DP01 Ford Cosworth, Mario Dominguez (3L) of Mexico and Franck Montagny (2R) of France celebrate with champagne on the podium after finishing first, third and second, respectively, during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 20, 2008 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
  • LONG BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: Will Power of Australia drives the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia KV Racing DP01 Ford Cosworth past the finish line for the checkered flag win during the Champ Car World Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 20, 2008 Long Beach, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

[Source: Autosport]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow: that was an amazing performance by Franck Montagny!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually, if I recall correctly, the DP01 chassis will be put to use elsewhere. I don't know if it means another series will adapt them, but i think it was Kalkhoven on WindTunnel who said that they definitely won't be mothballed. Still, it's really a shame that after all that development and testing that the car only lasted a season
        • 7 Years Ago
        It was actually Paul Tracy who coined the term a few years ago when he said he would "never drive one of those crapwagons" when referring to IndyCars. Now he's looking for a seat on an IndyCar team.

        Go figure.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It will be sad not to hear the sound and see the speed again. However the IRL cars are close enough, and now having the numbers of cars per race up in a reasonable range improves everything. Just reduces the number of races I watch, that's all (spotter to driver - "inside, inside" -ralf... ovals don't count for me).
      • 7 Years Ago
      The real excitement came after the ALMS race on Saturday. I left just after the race, as a Pennywise concert was about to start. The streets leading away from the race were a mess, and everyone that I was with commented on the lack of police presence. Apparently they were suiting up, as the concert turned into a huge melee that had to be put down by riot police w/ tear gas.

      That being said, the ALMS race was fantastic with the big Audis pulling it out in the last five minutes of the race. Champ/IRL are both pretty much useless by comparison. IMHO, of course.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is Will related to Max Power?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "...but you mustn't touch..."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Danica Patrick's win at Motegi was a publicity stunt.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's cool. CART been really lame since they "locked" the technology and I have always thought of having a second rate Formula One a bad idea.

      So the American Le Mans cars will be the premiere format for the next five years?
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, does this mean there will be no more Long Beach Grand Prix? No more annual barricades on Ocean and Pine, etc.???
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ian - Edmonton Grand Prix may outdraw Long Beach.
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