STATEMENT BY JIM MICHAELIAN, PRESIDENT & CEO OF GRAND PRIX ASSOCIATION OF LONG BEACH, ON THE PASSING OF LEGENDARY DRIVER DAN GURNEY: “The employees and fans of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach are truly saddened to hear of the passing of racing legend Dan Gurney. As well as being an icon in…
Archives for Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach PR
STATEMENT BY JIM MICHAELIAN, PRESIDENT & CEO OF GRAND PRIX ASSOCIATION OF LONG BEACH, ON THE PASSING OF LEGENDARY DRIVER DAN GURNEY:
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2017) – On Tuesday, the Long Beach City Council unanimously approved a new agreement with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach that will allow the company to continue running the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach through 2023, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach officials announced today. The new agreement,…
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2017) – Next April 13-14, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach fans will get a look at the American muscle car power that defined the golden age of Trans Am racing, when the historic machines race for the first time on the world-famous race course in the Historic Trans Am…
LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 29, 2017) — Two legendary drivers with proud histories at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Emerson Fittipaldi and Tommy Kendall – will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on Thursday, April 6, at 11:00 a.m. The public is invited to attend the free, 12th annual…
KINGS OF CHAOS STARRING BILLY IDOL, BILLY GIBBONS AND CHESTER BENNINGTON HEADLINE SATURDAY ROCK-N-ROAR CONCERT
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2017) – Rock-and-roll royalty will invade the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this April when SMG Presents the Kings of Chaos Starring Billy Idol, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park for a high-energy performance at the event’s popular Saturday night Rock-N-Roar Concert. The concert,…
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Jan. 25, 2017) – The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced a multi-year agreement with K1 Speed to join the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as Official Go-Kart Track Operator. K1 Speed, with 35 kart racing locations across the U.S. and Mexico, will continue to run the popular Go-Kart Challenge…
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2016) – Next April, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach fans will get a taste of the 1000+ horsepower engines that dominated the golden age of Can-Am racing, when the historic machines race for the first time on the world-famous seaside circuit.
The 20-minute race, which will run Saturday, April 8, will start at approximately noon, just prior to the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix event.
Can-Am, shorthand for the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, was a racing series that ran at tracks in Canada and the U.S. from 1966 to 1974 and again from 1977-87. The initial era of Can-Am featured sleek, high-horsepower cars from McLaren, Porsche, Lola, Shadow and more with a list of well-known drivers that included Jim Hall, Mark Donohue, Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, George Follmer, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Bruce McLaren and John Surtees, among others.
The historic event at Long Beach will feature cars from the 1966-74 era of Can-Am racing, and be sanctioned by the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA).
“HMSA is thrilled to be part of the Grand Prix Long Beach, a truly iconic event with a rich motorsports history and a jewel of Southern California,” said Cris Vandagriff, president of the Historic Motor Sports Association. “We are proud to bring the cars from what has been called the greatest series ever created, the original Can-Am. These cars were the fastest racing cars of their day and still make the earth move when they take to the track.”
“This will be the very first time that these exotic racing machines have competed on any street circuit,” said Jim Michaelian, president & CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “The sounds of these high-powered engines racing down Shoreline Drive will be exhilarating.”
Featuring a wide variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Grand Prix will be headlined by the second round of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series, as well as the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its all-new prototype cars. In addition, the weekend will include the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights; SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks, and the powerful sports cars of the Pirelli World Challenge.
Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $32 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $142 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, Verizon IndyCar Series Paddock access passes, Super Photo tickets and an array of VIP Club packages.
Fans can select and pay for their 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333. A printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information is also available.
Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB, Instagram at ToyotaGPLB and Snapchat at ToyotaGPLB.
ALFONSO RIBEIRO TAKES FINAL CHECKERED FLAG IN BACK-TO-BACK VICTORIES AT 40TH TOYOTA PRO/CELEBRITY RACE
Ribeiro takes the trophy in the last running at ‘The Beach,’ Max Papis and Rod Millen round out the Top 3.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2016) — Alfonso Ribeiro won the 2016 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, triumphing over the most accomplished field the annual charity racing event has ever seen. The roaring crowd witnessed the stunning performance by Ribeiro, who started the race in the 8th position and successfully avoided any collisions or walls to take the checkered flag.
Ribeiro, now a four-time Toyota Pro/Celebrity winner (1994, 1995 & 2015), is best-known for his role as ‘Carlton’ on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Ribeiro, who is the new host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” had the fastest lap of the day with a time of 1:42.102.
Ribeiro started in the middle of the field, but in just two laps passed seven drivers, including Dara Torres, 12-time Olympic Medalist, and Adam Carolla, comedian and radio personality, to secure the lead. Just as the race was beginning to heat up on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, yellow flags were thrown.
“I turned the corner and had about five hundredths of a thousandth of a millisecond to react, and there was nothing much I could do,” said Sean Patrick Flanery, actor best known for his role in “Boondock Saints.”
Flanery collided with two other cars when rounding turn eight, a pile-up that included Brett Davern, who plays ‘Jake Rosati’ on MTV’s “Awkward,” and Bob Carter, senior vice president of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
Davern, upon taking turn eight, had hit the tire barriers, and Carter who was right behind him, hit Davern’s rear quarter panel.
“I knew when I saw his car, and could read his name, that I was unfortunately going to hit him,” said Carter.
While pulling the damaged vehicles off the track under a local yellow flag, the field came around turn eight, and Flanery, looking to pass “Mad Max” Papis, former Champ Car driver, after the turn, ended up rear-ending Carter.
Race officials threw the red flag, stopping the race in order to clear the track of vehicles and debris, and ensure all drivers and track personnel were safe before continuing with the historical race.
Ribeiro, already having obtained the lead was pursued heavily by Papis, with Rod Millen, 5-time Toyota Pikes Peak Unlimited winner, riding his tail. This trio rounded out the top three finishers. Carolla, started and finished in fourth position.
“At the end of the day this is all about the children, ‘Racing For Kids’ is what it’s all about, and everyone here understands that,” said Carter.
Millen added, “I’m just happy to be here, and to race with all these awesome people, who are all champions.”
“The pace of this race was extremely fast and the drivers were very competitive at the start,” said President and CEO of the Grand Prix Association Jim Michaelian. “There was some exciting action in the field that had the fans on their feet, and we are glad everyone will walk away unscathed. Congratulations to Alfonso Ribeiro on his victory. A special thanks to all this year’s participants who helped make the final race exciting. All their enthusiasm is, ultimately, for a great cause, and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race was proud to be able to make it happen one last time.”
Toyota will donate $5,000 to Racing for Kids in the name of each participant, for a total of $100,000, and an additional $5,000 to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts on behalf of Ribeiro. Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is a national nonprofit program benefiting infants, children and teens with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is scheduled to be broadcast on CBS Sportsnet on May 8 at 6 PM ET, and will re-air numerous times. (Check your local listings for details)
Fans can follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB (#TPCR40) and Instagram at ToyotaGPLB.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 15, 2016) — After a 30-minute qualifying session on Friday, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach officials awarded the 40th and final Toyota Pro/Celebrity Pole Position to winner, Jimmy Vasser. Before Vasser could celebrate, however, race officials announced that the field would be inverted, taking the top position away from Vasser,…
OSCAR DE LA HOYA NAMED GRAND MARSHAL
FOR 42ND TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
Honorary Starter Taya Kyle, C-17 Flyover and National Anthem Singer Sgt. Marcus Dangelo Add to Festivities Before Sunday, April 17 Verizon IndyCar Series Race
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 7, 2016) — A superstar whose popularity transcends boxing, Oscar De La Hoya has been named Grand Marshal for the 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 17.
De La Hoya will be joined by Taya Kyle, wife of Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, who will wave the green flag for the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday as the Honorary Starter.
In addition, during the pre-race activities, Sgt. Marcus Dangelo of the California Army National Guard 40th Infantry Division Band will sing the national anthem and fans will be treated to a flyover of a Boeing C-17 military transport airplane by the U.S. Air Force out of March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley.
De La Hoya, known around the world not only as one of the best fighters of his era but as an elite event promoter, is also a Grammy-nominated singer, astute businessman and active philanthropist. He has been recognized by lawmakers in Washington, D.C., California and Los Angeles for his many contributions to the Mexican American community.
Over the course of his boxing career, De La Hoya was an Olympic gold medalist, 10-time world champion in six divisions and among the biggest draws in the history of the sport. Since retiring from the ring in 2009, he has built the company he founded, Golden Boy Promotions, with a focus on building the sport’s next generation of talented superstars including Canelo Alvarez, Jorge Linares, Lucas Matthysse, Randy Caballero, and David Lemieux.
Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014, De La Hoya has received many accolades from the media for his continued contributions to the sport of boxing and was named “Promoter of the Year” two years in a row by Sports Illustrated in 2014 and 2015.
Taya Kyle is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, American Wife. She is a bold advocate for women and families and a passionate voice for faith, strength and American ideals.
Following the tragic death of her husband Chris Kyle – author of the New York Times bestselling book and Academy Award-winning motion picture, American Sniper – Taya now serves as Executive Director of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. The Foundation continues Chris Kyle’s legacy while serving the needs of military and first responder families. Among her achievements, Kyle has been presented with the Ronald Reagan Award at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner in 2015 and was the first woman to be presented the Stonewall Jackson Award on Memorial Day by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Ticket prices for Sunday, April 17 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach range from $60 for a Sunday General Admission ticket, which grants access to all the day’s race events, to $87 for a Sunday reserved-seat ticket in grandstand upper levels. There are three-day ticket packages available, as well as pre-paid parking, handicapped seating, Verizon IndyCar Series Paddock access passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages.
Fans can select and pay for their 2016 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333. A printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information can be obtained by calling the hotline.