IN PICTURES: The 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Was a Rip-Roaring Show of Events

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Photo by De'Niro Pankey.

Thousands attended the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) and its surrounding events this past Thursday through Sunday. From the Roar in the Shore kickoff on Wednesday to the final races on Sunday, ear-plugged attendees seemed to enjoy the mostly sunny weather as race car after race car ripped through the city circuit to both disappointing crashes and sweet victories.

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Check out our photo coverage of Long Beach’s largest event:

Verizon Indycar Series

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Photos by De’Niro Pankey.

Canadian James Hinchcliffe won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Verizon Indycar Series Race on Sunday, marking his first victory since sustaining serious injuries in a 2015 crash practicing for the Indianapolis 500.

Following the 2015 crash, Hinchcliffe was out for the rest of that season. He finished second in 2016, his best finish that year, at the rain-interrupted Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway over the summer.

“A lot of people talked about 2016 as sort of the comeback year,” Hinchcliffe said in a statement. “Personally we really wanted to as a team to put an exclamation point on that by coming to victory lane. “We came as close as humanly possible in Texas last year. Didn't quite get the job done. We were sore to not win a race last year.”

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Can-Am Challenge Race

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Photos by Asia Morris.

Craig and Kirt Bennett, each driving a 1974 Shadow DN4, raced to a one-two finish on Saturday, with Craig taking the win .063 seconds ahead of his brother, according to TGPLB officials.

Presented by the Historic Motor Sports Association (HSMA), watching the Can-Am Challenge proved nostalgic for some as the parade-like race showed off cars built in the late 60s and early 70s, dubbed “the beasts of the race tracks back in their day,” said Jim Michaelian, TGPLB CEO.


 

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Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge

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Photos by De’Niro Pankey.

Forrest Wang, driving the Get Nuts Lab / Zestino Tires Nissan 240, took the victory during the second consecutive night of the challenge on Saturday. Alex Heilbrunn of Peru came in second with Dean Kearney of Huntington Beach taking third.

“Drifting at night and under lights truly is a testament of the drivers skill,” Jim Liaw, president of Formula DRIFT, said in a statement. “The drivers really put on a show tonight to close out our fifth consecutive year drifting at night during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.”

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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Race

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Photos by De’Niro Pankey.

Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship victory went to Jordan Taylor and his brother Ricky during the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, marking their third consecutive win in Long Beach, and continuing their undefeated streak in WeatherTech Championship this year, according to TGPLB officials.

Ricky drove to victory during the two opening races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar calendar, with Jordan landing the third.

“There were plenty of race moments where things went well for me and bad for Jordan, but not always,” said second-place finisher Ryan Dalziel in a statement. “I hit the brakes, went one way, and it was the same as the GTD car. I tried to go the other way, but then I saw a big black Cadillac drive right by me and that was the end of it.”

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Pirelli World Challenge

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Photos by De’Niro Pankey.

Alvaro Parente from Porto, Portugal, defended his title capturing his second Pirelli World Challenge, but not without a slight hiccup. Flooding due to a fire hydrant incident during the 50-minute race, paused the competition for 15 minutes on lap 10 while crews cleaned flooded turns eight and nine, according to Autoweek.

“That (incident) was a little crazy with the water on the track,” Parente told Autoweek. “I went into that turn and all of a sudden there was a river in front of me so I just went foot off throttle and prayed that I wouldn’t crash or anything and just skidded through the puddle.”

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Photo by Darren Bishop of Long Beach firefighters shutting off the hydrant.

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Stadium Super Trucks Race

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Photos by De’Niro Pankey.

North Carolina-based Robby Gordon won race two, with American/Australian driver Matthew Brabham taking second and Arizona-based Gavin Harlien finishing third.

 

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City News Service contributed to this report.



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