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Cruisin’ the Beach – at 180 mph

Apr 16, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT

The famous 1.97-mile Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit has a little bit of everything from long straights and 90 degree corners to tight braking areas that can create serious trouble. It’s a street circuit, so there will be no elevation changes for the drivers to navigate through like they did two weeks ago at Barber Motorsports Park, but there’s more than enough to keep drivers on their toes.

Turn 1 is the best area on the course to pass as it comes off the famous dog-leg frontstretch of Shoreline Drive, but it’s not the only passing zone.  Turn 6′s location on the end of a short straight doesn’t give the drivers as much time to plot and execute a pass, so if one is not quick on the brakes, they’re liable to lose a spot if someone else is close by. Turn 9 can see a lot of jockeying for position as well.

There are also several tight spots on the circuit, chiefly the “Fountain” complex at Turns 2 and 3 and the famous Turn 11 hairpin, which is very critical to get right as it leads into the long blast down Shoreline Drive. Trouble in these corners can be very problematic, and could lead to stack-ups if there are multiple cars around.

Click above to go for a lap around this legendary track, and catch the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

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