Grand Prix Set for Weekend

By: 
Steve Propes

It’s been going strong for over 40 years. A large section of Shoreline Drive is closed down in anticipation of the 45th edition of the Grand Prix, attracting tens of thousands of IndyCar race fans to downtown Long Beach from April 12 through April 14.

The new title sponsor, Acura has taken the place of Toyota Motors, which after forty years, has moved its headquarters from Torrance to Texas, thus dropping out. The move was telegraphed when Toyota dropped the pro/celebrity race in 2017. In the past, names like Bruce Jenner, Ted Nugent, Donny Osmond and Adam Corolla have won the celebrity side of the race that banged up more than its share of rides and excitement.

Practice of the IndyCars will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. Along with other car and truck races, drift cars practice at 6:45 p.m. Drift has been part of the Grand Prix since 2005, the races will be on Friday and Saturday evening. Other events include a Friday night rock concert, a lifestyle expo and a kid’s zone with go-karts.

The main event, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will start on Sunday at 1:42 p.m. and end at about 3:30 p.m.

As with all past Grand Prix events, parking is a major challenge. Street parking anywhere near the race will be non-existent. Be aware of road closures or lane reductions, such as Alamitos Boulevard at Second Street. Public transportation is limited as the Blue Line is undergoing upgrading and is currently shut down. For those using Long Beach Transit, lines 91 and 93 are the best bet, going from east Long Beach to downtown, where a Passport bus is a free ride to the race entrance.

Parking is available in the Marina lot, located on the south side of Shoreline Drive behind several grandstands. Enter off Ocean Boulevard and Alamitos Avenue. Passes are sold on a three-day basis. Parking is also available in the Shoreline lot, located west of the race circuit at the end of the 710 Freeway. A general admission three-day pass costs $95, or $147 for reserved seating. Single day tickets are also available from $33 on Friday to $90 on Sunday. Kids under 12 get free general admission with a paying adult. For more information, call the ticket office at 888-827-7333.

steve@beachcomber.news

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