The one place where Joey Hand wants to win a race more than any other is Long Beach


 JHand033010_1This year’s running of the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach could be his best chance yet. The BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team may very well be in its best form ever heading to Round 2 of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

“Long Beach is my favorite race in the world,” the 31-year-old California driver said. “Some people might find that a little crazy, but it is an awesome venue – full of great people, sunshine and a super layout. I love staying at the Hyatt, coming down the elevator right into the paddock.”

For someone who grew up following road racing in the Golden State, having such affinity for the historic Long Beach event isn’t out of the ordinary. His first professional race there was a third-place finish in Toyota Atlantic in 2001, and he was on pole position the following year. In five starts, he has finished in the top-five three times.

Needless to say, he could probably drive the BMW M3 that he’ll share with Dirk Müller around the circuit in his sleep.

“Once I hit the track there are only two things on my mind; go fast and keep it off the walls,” said Hand, who finished third in GT2 with Müller and Andy Priaulx at Sebring two weeks ago. “There is a very fine line between success and failure. You must be late on the brakes into Turn 1, chop through the flowers at the apex of the Fountain Corner (my favorite), and use every bit of the track heading onto the backstretch. Most critical is the long left before the hairpin. Because of a sealer on the surface it is so slippery you can quickly feel like you’re in one of those YouTube videos of a deer getting into someone’s home and trying to run on linoleum. Get the picture?!?

“Long Beach has it all; the track configuration, people, scenery, and fast cars.”JHand033010_main

The Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach is the second round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The race, set at the historic Long Beach street circuit, is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 17 with coverage on SPEED set for 8 to 10 p.m. ET. Live radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche – a production of Radio Show Limited – as well as Sirius and XM. Visit the the Series’ schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.

Courtesy ALMS © RIF