My friend Sally, who gave me the three Hulman glasses, also gave me a box of old Long Beach programs. I have a couple of Indianapolis 500 programs, and I find the programs from other races fascinating.
The programs provide a glimpse of local culture and lets fans see how other races are run. The better programs also provide some history of the race. I find that part of a program invaluable, especially for the races that have run for the longest time. The King Beach programs don’t disappoint in that area.
The program for the 2008 race caught my eye. The race was to be Champ Car’s last race, and coincide with the Champ Car drivers’ first IRL points paying race. IRL and Champ Car had agreed to merge in February 2008, and the Long Beach weekend would have the last separate races for the two series. The IRL raced Motegi, Japan on Saturday, April 19, and Champ Car’s last race took place the following afternoon. Drivers could only race in one of the races.
Champ Car Tribute
The program pays tribute to Champ Car with the feature “Champ Car’s Last Hurrah. CART began racing at Long Beach in 1984. Formula 1 had become too expensive for the Grand Prix Association.
Jim Michaelian, Long Beach Grand Prix President, concludes that
“Just like back in 1984, we’re not going to miss a beat. There will be more world -class racing in store when the Indy racing League(IRL)-which includes many drivers who battled it out on our streets-makes its debut…next year.”
The weekend included Formula Atlantics and ALMS. The Atlantics race had Jonathan Bomarito on pole with Simona De Silvestro also on the front row. James Hinchcliffe started 10th, and Dane Cameron started 11th.
IN ALMS, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta teamed up in an LMP2 Acura.
All series seem to get equal coverage in the program. The Champ Car driver features are divided by teams, which makes it easy to find a favorite driver.
A bonus I love finding in an old program is the starting grid sheet. This one is a treasure as it marks the end of a series. Most of the drivers did drive in the IRL at some point in their career. Will Power and Graham Rahal are the only two drivers still active in Indycar.
Power won the race. His photo from the 2008 program:
I am glad I have this program. It is arguably one of the four most important programs in Long Beach Grand Prix history. The others are the first F1 race, the CART race, and the first IRL race.
This weekend marks the 38th Indycar race at Long Beach, the longest running Indycar outside of the Indianapolis 500.
4 thoughts on “Long Beach 2008- Champ Car’s Final Race”
As I recall, Jimmy Vasser came out of retirement for the 2008 event because the LBGP was one of his favorite races. I attended in 1986 and 1992 and almost did again in 2009 driving home to Massachusetts after having delivered a boat to a customer in San Francisco. Wish I had. Thank you for this story!
Glad you enjoyed it. I was surprised to see him on the entry list.
A friend who did attend took a great shot of Vasser’s car disappearing around a corner with the KV Racing Technology logo on the spoiler. He didn’t realize who it was because at that time Jimmy was no longer a regular driver in the series.
Wow. How cool. This will be my second time there.
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