For now, all I care about is the next race

 by Jose Arrambide
April 5, 2006

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Long Beach kicks off the 2006 Champ Car schedule

Many Champ Car fans are concerned that we are only a couple of days away from the season opener in Long Beach and a few seats are still empty and that many teams are struggling to find sponsorship.

Many more fans are concerned about the future, some of them believe that Champ Car will merge with the IRL in 2007 creating a new series that will start the rebirth of Open Wheel in North America.  Others believe that the merger will never happen but the new chassis for 2007 and the reinvigorated Atlantics Series will catapult Champ Car to new heights, and yet others believe that Champ Car is doomed no matter what they do.  If there is a merger, the Champ Car name will probably go away and the IndyCar name will be used.

I don't care about any of those issues, at least not for now. The future of Champ Car may be uncertain, but it is exactly that, the future, something still to come. I will have plenty of time to think about it, and most importantly, there is nothing I can really do to change the possible outcome.  Besides, I follow Champ Car for enjoyment, not to worry about things.

What I will do is to concentrate on the present, and the present is the 2006 season. There will be 18 cars in Long Beach, and I'm dying to find out how those 18 drivers will qualify for the race, and on Sunday afternoon, I will enjoy the race.  I will enjoy every pass, and every battle, and every pit stop, and I will do it all over again May 13th in Houston, and will keep doing it for every race until November 12th when Champ Car will have the season finale in Mexico City.

Yes, I'm anxious for the season to start.  Many questions will be answered in 2006.  Will Sebastien Bourdais get his third championship in a row?  Will Bruno Junqueira try to prove something this year after leaving the 2005 season early due to an injury? Will RuSPORT keep improving giving Justin Wilson and A.J. Allmendinger a real shot at the championship?  Does Paul Tracy still have it in him?  Is Katherine Legge the real thing?  What will the other drivers do? Are there any surprises in store?

Yes, I can't wait for the season to begin, can't wait for the smell of burning rubber and the smell of methanol, can't wait for the sound of the turbocharged engines, can't wait for all the gossip and talk in the paddock, can't wait to talk about racing and not about politics.

Perhaps Champ Car is doomed, perhaps Champ Car will be reborn, or perhaps Champ Car will be reborn hand-in-hand with the IRL, but for now I only care about the next race.  It's Long Beach, America's Monaco.  Sorry St. Petersburg, you have a long way to go before you can claim to be the Long Beach of the East.

And you?

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