TACH RACE SCOOP: Long Beach to Host F1 U.S. Grand Prix in 1999
30 July 1997Chris Pook impresario of the Long Beach (CART) Grand Prix for the past 24 years has been huddling with Bernie Ecclestone, Czar of all Formula One racing activity. According to a reliable source who has an inside source on the Long Beach, CA City Council, an approval is in the works to stage back-to-back CART and F-I championship races on the Long Beach street course in 1999.
The 1.6 MI 10 turn street course will have to be expanded to at least two miles to meet Grand Prix specs . . . possibly it will be lengthened to 2.2 mile. We would guess this means lengthening the main straight as much as possible by using up the run-off area, stretching out the hairpin area at the west end of the circuit, and adding some pavement.
The agreement also calls for installation of a specified number of permanent seats. You can just bet that Chris, who also owns/runs the Gateway oval outside of St. Louis, will be thinking PSLs (permanent seat licenses).
TACH does not know the significance of back-to-back CART and F-1 races, and we don't see how the F-1 guys can get to the US to race in L.A. in April when they already have two April races--Argentina and San Marino.
Stay tuned, it's gotta get better.
Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel