As I stand trackside with 22 oz. Tecate in hand the crowd and I are engulfed in a nasty smelling cloud of white smoke coming from the rear tires of a turquoise blue Mustang. In recent years the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has been limited to the open-wheel Champ Car races, as well as the ever popular Celebrity Race, but the past couple of years the Grand Prix has taken notice of one of the hottest trends in motorsports to hit the racing scene in a while; Formula D.

Basically, unlike a traditional race, Formula D or Drift Racing is judged not on time, position, or speed, but on style. Drifting is the skill of purposefully getting your car sideways down a road. It’s like a controlled fish tale back and forth down the track. The car that shows off the most is the winner.

In my opinion racing is boring as fuck, unless you are driving the car. While at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this year, I couldn’t help but be bored while the Camp Cars zoomed around the track as the entire crowd patiently waits for that ill-fated crash. Watching 30 cars go around in a circle is pretty lame, but watching those same cars crash into each other or the wall is much more appealing. This is where Drift Racing comes in. It satisfies all by somewhat going in a circle around a track, and the simulation of out-of-control-ness, which ultimately makes for a better show.

Both days all we pretty much did was drink beek, pass out flyers for the Atomic Roxx, and watch the drift racing. The LBGP is just a big party where everyone gets shitfaced. On Sunday I tried to link up with the buddies from Monstor Fabrication and Casper Canul Racing, as they had a drift car that was going to tear up the track, but ended up just watching the drifting from turn 3. These guys had a badass drift car and I swear I tried to get over to the convention center to check it out after the drift was over, but the Tecate in the hot sun had me tilted diverting me to other entertainment.

Don’t ask me how the free KROQ concert with Bad Religion was or who won Miss Grand Prix of Long Beach, because I missed both due to my own stupidity. Despite this everyone had a great time at the races this year, and it makes me ever anxious to have the LBPP Party Bus done for next years race. Check out all the pictures from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the photo section. We came up a little short on the Grand Prix parties this year but next year is going to be a whole different story because; WE PARTY.

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About the Author

Shea Newkirk

Executive Editor, Long Beach Independent

Shea has been involved in the Long Beach music scene since 2003 helping to promote unsigned, independent bands and musicians through various media including photos, video, event production, and marketing. Founder of and Folk Revival Festival as well as a musician with over 15 years experience, Shea has a great ear for finding the best independent music coming out of the local Long Beach music scene.

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