Will Power sprays the Long Beach crowd with champagne in 2008
Will Power won the 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the final race run Champ Car World Series sanctioning. Power also finished third at Long Beach in 2007 and the Australian native shared his secrets about putting together a competitive run on the tight and bumpy 1.9-mile, 11-turn street circuit with indycar.com:
A balanced race car
"Long Beach is a typical street circuit with lots of bumps and bottoming. It's not a huge braking track, to be honest. Most of the corners flow; they are actually longer corners than you think. It's not stop-and-go like St. Petersburg. I've always found it's quite a tough track to get a good balance on because of the variance in corners and track surfaces and you have to have a good strategy in the race. Some teams like Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing seem to have that place nailed."
Adapting from the Champ Car to the IndyCar
"A lot of details count toward a good lap time and I would expect us to be 3 to 4 seconds a lap slower this year. That's something we'll work at over the weekend because I'm not sure how much of the Champ Car setup will carry over to IndyCar. But it's a track I really enjoy and I've always ran well and had pretty good luck there."
Setting up your passes
"It might be a different story with these cars, without the horsepower of the Champ Cars that I am used to driving there. With the push-to-pass feature in Champ Car, we had no problems getting a run on someone or passing. That might be a bit harder in the IndyCar, because down the front straight into Turn 1 is the only place you can pass, unless you take a big risk or the other guy makes a mistake."
Smart use of Firestone's alternate tires
"I think the alternate tires will make a difference on a track like Long Beach. It certainly made things tougher in qualifying at St. Petersburg. The tires definitely made a difference and made the car better over a run. But we won't know what is going to happen in the race. Will the tires go off badly, or are they going to be quicker over a run? We just don't know. It definitely throws the balance off; that's why it seemed to suit some cars better than others in qualifying."
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