August 01, 2005

A glimpse of the SJ Grand Prix

Ah, the promise of it all.

Street course racing in beautiful, sunny California, right here in my town. So much hoopla, so much anticipation.

This was about as much of a view of the actual race that we got to see:

That's the car of Sebastien Bourdais, the leader for 95% of the race and the eventual winner.

But a lot more of it was like this for us:

Please note that those photos were taken about 1-2 seconds apart. (See how the people haven't moved an inch?)

Those cars haul ass, even with the streets being as narrow and, apparently, as bumpy as they were. If you check it out, that article does a really good job of summing up the frustrations of the weekend. (The only thing he doesn't mention is how hot it was out there.) My favorite line, from one of the drivers describing his feeling about the course: "'I am riding motorcycles since I was 2 1/2 and I've never screamed like I was screaming Friday' during practice."

I have to admit, it wasn't all that I hoped it would be -- and I'm PISSED that they messed up with the tickets and they re-sold our seats to someone else as a "reward" for buying ours early -- but I'm glad that overall it was considered a success. Not perfect, by any means, but it looks like they'll have a chance to fix some of the missteps and host it again next year.

I managed to spend hours down there and not have anyone drop me to my knees with an ill-timed bump, I didn't get sunburned and my ears didn't hurt afterward, so from that perspective, it was a personal success, too.

But my heart still belongs to Formula One.