2012 Race-a-Palooza at Long Beach

Maybe I’m grouchy… maybe I’m a curmudgeon. Regardless, I am a fan of the American Le Mans Series. At last count I believe I’ve attended over 100 consecutive American Le Mans Series events… including the winter tests. After last week’s gathering at Long Beach, I wish my event count was 99.

Sorry Mr. Atherton. You know I’m a HUGE ALMS supporter. But Long Beach is not special. It’s a side show and the American Le Mans Series gets teated like a second class citizen. And frankly, why Indy Car (NASCAR’s ugly step sister) is the headliner is beyond me.

Sure, I understand the SoCal market attraction. But at what cost? We lower the standard of our product, our racing format, we lower the standard of our fan’s access and we lower the standard of the on-track show. In short, we lower our standards.

And for what? To be part of a garish sideshow? I mean, Joan Jett? Really? And the Life Style EXPO? I mean seriously… am I the only one walking around with my eyes open? Wholesale cigar stands, guys hawking number beds, carrnuba wax, chinese bicycles, chinese motor scooters, chinese dune buggies, toys, pretzels, nuts, jacuzzis, etc. etc. etc.

I want to get this straight… we push the ALMS Paddock off to the outskirts of town, set up like a cheesy tailgate party all in the name of the Lifestyle Expo? Am I the only one confused?

American Le Mans Series competitors, stakeholders, partners and fans deserve better. Much better. We’re a quality product. ALMS fans are about quality cars and quality racing… and oh, endurance racing.

I’m a huge fan. But Long Beach is WRONG for the American Le Mans Series. If the ALMS cannot put its best foot forward, the series shouldn’t be there.

ALMS is and should be about QUALITY. Long Beach is Race-a-palooza.

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