(Originally posted by Steph to Planet-IRL.com.)
As I type this, I’m en route to Los Angeles. And as I’ve mentioned a few times now, this will be my first trip to the venerable Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
This comes as a surprise to many people. In fact, I think fellow tweep @MarcBever put it most eloquently. He’s also making his first trip this year, and when he decided to go, he contacted me for advice. When I told him I’m as green as he is, his reply was, “Really? What kind of Champ Car fan were you?”
It’s a fair comment, not only because of my fandom roots but also because my home race happens to be Toronto. Pointing out that I never travelled to any race outside of my home city until last year barely excuses me — I mean, this is Long Beach we’re talking about. A true fan of street racing is supposed to find a way. To my mind, going to Long Beach for the first time when my home race is Toronto is on par with having a home race of, say, Texas and making the first trip to Indy. I know the races I’ve been seeing live all these years have been great, but something tells me I’m not quite fully prepared for the enormity of what I’m about to experience.
That being said, this race has been run 35 times, so I’m wary of offering observations that are too basic — there are plenty of folks who will have a much greater wealth of experience than me, and information and recommendations are plentiful online. As a result, I think you’ll find me taking a slightly different tack in my coverage here than what I offered in St. Pete in that I’ll lean more toward comparing the event to other street races I’ve been to and sharing thoughts through the eyes of a first-timer. But as with any race that I’ve covered through various outlets, I have no idea what I’ll find worth writing about until I get out there. Rest assured that I’ll do my best to make it as worth your reading time as possible.
As with St. Pete, I’ll be making daily observations here at Planet-IRL.com, and I’ll also be tweeting all weekend (@99forever). Of course, we’re all hanging out on the Left Coast this weekend, so if my updates are uploaded at very odd Eastern times, I ask that you accept my apologies.
I will be at the track tomorrow, so I may very well have something to report. If not, I’m attending the tour of Swift on Friday morning, so I’ll definitely have lots to let you know about by then!