The wait is almost over. The Champ Cars have arrived in Las Vegas for the series' inaugural race through the streets of Bugsy Siegel's Nevada oasis. It's the start of a 16-race schedule that stretches right through to December. There is plenty of change for 2007 - a new car, new regulations, new venues, new schedules and new drivers - so here is a synopsis of what to expect.
The Lola B2K has gone to be replaced by the Panoz-built DP01. (We're not allowed to call it the Panoz DP01 apparently). It needed another six months development time with an assortment of current engineers to get its bugs ironed out.
The Panoz DP01 © LAT
Instead there have been just seven days of testing (to slow down the progress of the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing's over new boys like Pacific Coast Motorsports) and so the new car's growing pains have been executed rather too publicly.
The DP01's chief designer Simon Marshall has confessed that quality control is not what it should be, and that the company is working to remedy that. In the meantime, resolving a leaking fuel cell problem and building enough spares is the priority. After all, three races on consecutive weekends, all three of them street courses with half the field as rookies suggests spare parts might be in high demand...