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
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.
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