If you’re under 30, you’re likely off to Coachella this weekend to hang out in the sun with 150,000 other hot, sweaty, possibly drugged-up hipsters wandering around talking about set lists and complaining about security.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I spent three days at the same venue for Phish’s epic Festival 8 last year) but I’m staying local and catching the action at the Long Beach Grand Prix instead. Here’s why:

1. You don’t need a hotel room or travel plans. No deposits on RV’s or dirty campsites to worry about either. Just hop in the car and head down the 405 in air conditioned comfort.

2. It’s cheap- go to Goldstar.com and you can find tickets discounted at almost 1/2 off.  That money then goes directly into your beer & nacho account for the weekend  (you can thank me later).

We're thinking about entering one of these next year.. in the 1:24th scale R/C race down the street.

3. Cars, cars and more cars. As one of the staples of ESM, there is nothing better than hearing and seeing these monsters battle it out around the course at 120+mph in person– it’s like the difference between somebody describing porn and actually watching it yourself.  Indycars, Indy lights, ALMS, SCCA World Challenge, and a drifting competition. Definitely a huge bang for your (already discounted) buck.

4. No shortage of eye candy. Need I say more?

I like to go fast and my job is to hold someone's pole.. maybe yours?

5. To show our support of long-time friend, Patrick Lindsey, who is racing  the #57 Horton Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 in the World Challenge GT series.  An ESM icon in the making, he currently splits his time between racing/preparing in Santa Barbara and working on Wall Street trading stocks (yeah, we know- it’s a little Batmanesque) and as a byline he’ll probably also be the best golfer out on the track this weekend to boot.  I’m still working on that slice, Pat.

There is seriously nothing he can’t do (and all of it well)- at this point I’m waiting for NASA to announce him as their first prospective pilot for a mission to Mars. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit, but being the humble guy he is he’d just downplay it and pretend it could’ve been anyone. We’re throwing the good mojo his way and hope to see him on the podium come Sunday.

Check out Patrick’s site or become a fan on Facebook. I’m not buying the powder-blue 356 though- his daily drivers have never been under 400hp.

Interested in more pics from the Long Beach Grand Prix? Check out the coverage from SpeedHunters.com


When not at ESM, Chris can be found cycling up and down the Santa Monica Bay, re-engineering a turkey fryer into a pizza oven or reading about survival techniques in the Gobi desert.