By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe
Steelback Grand Prix Toronto - July 6-8, 2007
(Updated: July 8, 2007)



It's been an exciting three-day race weekend for me!  Thought I'd share some highlights.  You know how I just love to talk about these things and it's not about music -- for a change!

 

"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games." (Ernest Hemingway)


Motor (auto) racing is exciting and certainly can be full of surprises!  After watching a top 10 crashes of Formula 1 cars last Thursday, I certainly knew that anything could happen.

It was a sunny, dry day on Friday.  For the first time ever, on that day only, grandstand ticket holders were given the "freedom" to go to any grandstand of their choice, so, I decided to give the gold and silver seats a try!  I had a great view of pit row and I watched the Champ Cars first qualifying (Q1) session from the gold grandstand seats.  I took pics of Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani's cars at the pit.  Wilson ended up with the third fastest qualifying time.  During Q1, one of the things I thought was rather ironic was when Will Power's car literally stopped and ran out of power.  With a name like his, I thought, that's just a bad twist of fate.  Power's time ended up being last out of 17 drivers.  The top three fastest times were Sebastien Bourdais, Oriol Servia and Justin Wilson.

I also watched the Speed World Challenge practice from the silver grandstand and finally, the Star Mazda practice from Turn 3 grandstand.

On day 2 (Saturday), it was another dry, cloudy/sunny day.  I was at the Turn 3 grandstand andI watched the Champ Cars second qualifying (Q2) session.  Once again, the top three fastest times were Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson and Oriol Servia. Will Power who was last on Friday's qualifying session came in seventh fastest qualifying time and that's after he was penalized and had to sit out 8 minutes for blocking Bruno Junqueira during Friday's practice session which resulted in Junqueira clipping a tire wall and he spun into the wall. 

I walked through the Paddock and saw some Champ Cars that day.  I happened to see one driver, Katherine Legge (the only female participating) beside her car.  She ran into the wall during Q2 and that ended her day.  Fans came by to greet her and she signed some autographs.  I think the pic I happened to snap of her tells you how she was feeling.

Come Sunday - race day!  Thunderstorm and heavy rain was not anticipated!  Before I left my house, my friend informed me that the downpour had stopped, however, I anticipated possible drizzle down there.  So, I was ready for sun and more rains!  I made it to Turn 3 about a half hour before the Champ Car race was to start, with my lunch and water in hand.  I was sitting under a tree in front of the huge t.v. screen -- right, and you're wondering why would I go through the trouble when I could be in front of tv at home.  Yes, it rained, but, I was under a tree, remember?  I must say, with the F18 jets flying over head, watching the army trucks take all the drivers around the track before the race started -- you had to be there!  Of course, Steelback beer is flowing (or overflowing) at the grandstands. 

It was quite a shock to have a five-car pile up on the first lap of the race!  Canada's Paul Tracy was quickly out of the race, as well as three other drivers.  This incident occurred at Turn 8.

I was told that the turns can be quite exciting and dangerous, of course.  During the race, we saw Canada's Alex Tagliani hit the tire walls, but, he was able to get back into the race.  With minutes left of the race, at Lap 68, Robert Doornbos, a rookie, sent Sebastien Bourdais (the leader in time for the two qualifying sessions) into the tires at Turn 3!  Let me tell you, the crowd at Turn 3 cheered!  You will only hear that from me -- not from some official news reports...LOL.  When Justin Wilson tried to pass Bourdais earlier in the race and spun out, the crowd was quite disappointed.  I don't suppose that had anything to do with my premonition this morning while I was having breakfast.  Bourdais popped into my head - something was going to happen to him and it certainly did.  What made the race most interesting was the fact that the road was dry when the it started, then light rains came down.  Rain tires had to be put on at the pit.  So, driving was not so easy any more.  Even after the rain stopped, the road was still wet and streams of water sprayed from the cars in front which made visibility quite poor.  The t.v. screen showed a view from Justin Wilson car -- definitely not the same view as from your or my car!  No wipers - at least, not from what I saw! 

So, ladies and gentlemen, guess who won the race?  WILL POWER!

If you asked me on Saturday who I thought would win, I thought perhaps Justin Wilson had a shot.  Will Power did very well during the practice on Friday, until his engine died during Q1, but, the commentators said, when the track became wet, Power was fantastic. 

So, what did I learn at the Grand Prix this weekend? 

No matter how much you learn about your craft/field, how hard you work and how long you practice, you are not always going to be guaranteed success.  But, keep at it.  And, even when you think you are at the bottom of the ladder, WILL POWER, can help you make it to the top!!! 

If you would like to view all the pics, please see my Facebook album at
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2983&l=f4979&id=512587085.  And, if you would like to see an official news story of the Grand Prix Toronto's Champ Car Championships, check out http://www.champcarworld.net/pages/news.php?id=3731.