Seven drivers added to LB field, 20 possible
Seven drivers - including a four-time Long Beach winner - have been added to the probable 20-car field that will take the green flag for the final Champ Car race April 20 at the 34th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
They'll be joining a field that includes the newest American racing sensation, 19-year-old Graham Rahal, fresh from a victory in his first Indy Car start at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and 1996 race winner and Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser.
Paul Tracy, the series active leader with 31 wins, is expected to be back for his 16th assault on the famed Long Beach street course driving the #3 Indeck car. He'll team with Mexico's David Martinez, who will drive the #37 Indeck entry. Tracy won here in 1993 and again in 2000, 2003 and '04, and was Champ Car Series champion in 2003.
They'll be joined in the field by Nelson Phillipe (#4 Minardi Team USA/HVM Racing), Antonio Pizzonia (#9 Rocketsports Racing), Franck Montagny (#7 Forsythe/Pettit Racing), Juho Annala (#10 Rocketsports Racing) and Alex Figge (#29 Pacific Coast Motorsports).
Phillipe was the youngest driver ever to start a Champ Car race when he took the green flag here in Long Beach in 2004. The Frenchman has one Champ Car win on his record.
Pizzonia, an ex-Formula One driver from Brazil, finished 10th here in 2006 driving for Rocketsports. Montagny, a native of France, ran seven Grands Prix for Formula One's Super Aguri team in 2006.
Annala, a 20-year-old Finn, spent two years in the British Formula Three series, finishing third in points in 2006. Figge, a resident of Hollywood, finished 16th as a rookie at Long Beach last year.
Three drivers - including one by Team Minardi USA/HVM Racing and two by Walker Racing - are expected to be announced in the coming days, [which when added to the previously announced 9, plus today's 7 + Vasser would make it a 20-car field.]
Ticket prices for the three-day Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach range from $25 for a Friday General Admission ticket (no reserved seat) to $125 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available.
Credit card orders for the 2008 event can be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline - (888) 82-SPEED - or online by visiting www.gplb.com. Handicapped seating, Champ Car Paddock Passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages are also available.