It will be a busy night for your City Council when the body meets on Aug. 8 with an agenda of almost 50 items. Included in the array is Item No. 34, which will in effect begin negotiations with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach to continue to bring IndyCar racing to the streets of Long Beach.
The city has already given the nod to the IndyCar format, so the Aug. 8 item is of interest only because it’s the culmination of an exhaustive process to determine whether Long Beach would stay with the IndyCar series that’s been run by Jim Michaelian, the Grand Prix’s president and CEO since 2001, or switch over to the swankier and more exorbitant Formula 1 series, promoted by World Automobile Championship of California, a group led by Chris Pook, the man who started the Grand Prix in Long Beach in 1975.
The decision was a no-brainer, as evidenced by the fact that even we knew how it would come out. And it certainly did not appear to merit the $150,000 the city paid to the financial firm KPMG to compare the rivals’ relative merits.
That report was made public Monday afternoon, and it’s loaded with an absence of surprises, although there are a few bits of weirdness involved. Rather than submit what KPMG said would be an ideal computer-aided design plan for the proposed F1 track that would identify all mandatory components required following FIA (the governing body of motorsports) guidelines, WACC offered a hand-marked, low-resolution track plan, which, stated the report, “does not appear to conform to an FIA drawing standard.”
More curious, the cocktail-napkin bit of cartography shows the proposed circuit…
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