Let's Just Call Him The Wizard Of Ozz Because His Car Control Is Magic

Illustration for article titled Let's Just Call Him The Wizard Of Ozz Because His Car Control Is Magic

This weekend is the Long Beach Grand Prix, where IndyCar, Pirelli World Challenge and select classes from United SportsCar take to the streets of Long Beach and try not to eat a concrete barrier. How do you handle a car that just wants to oversteer and/or spin on every corner exit? Here’s Ozz Negri to show you how.

This is the view from inside the cockpit of the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2-Honda. Every time Negri goes to put the power down to pull out of a corner, the back end of the car just wants to step out and come around. The result? Lots of mad sawing at the wheel to keep the car going in a straight line and out of the wall.

Controlling wheel spin is a major issue in prototypes like this, where the combination of light weight and ample power can turn the car into a burnout monster if you’re not careful with the throttle.

Only the Prototype and GTLM classes from United SportsCar will be racing at Long Beach this weekend in a relatively short one hour and forty minute race. Nevertheless, this street circuit is insane enough to be a draw on its own right.


Perhaps the car was too much of a handful to nab a good qualifying position, but I can’t say that Negri’s practice lap doesn’t make an entertaining in-car video to watch. Negri and co-driver John Pew will start eighth for this weekend’s race. While they qualified ahead of the two Mazda prototypes (neither of which set a time in qualifying), the Michael Shank Racing car was behind every Daytona Prototype in P class, the DeltaWing and a lone GTLM contender: the record-setting pole lap of Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner’s BMW Team RLL Z4M GT3. The Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP driven by Jordan and Ricky Taylor will start from pole this weekend.

Qualifying results aside, though, it’s obvious from this video that Negri knows how to be one with the car, going through save after save with the seemingly unwieldy beast.

[H/T Racer]


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.

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I’m surprised I never thought about this before, but is the LB street course always exactly the same, or do they change it up at all from year to year? I’ve never made it to the actual race, and as such never got to know the track well enough from videos to think much about the layout.