Photo courtesy of Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach announced this week that fans will get to experience a new race scheduled for next year’s lineup, the Historic Trans Am Challenge.
Officially known as the Trans-American Championship, Trans Am is a racing series that started in 1966 and still runs today at tracks countrywide, according to organizers.
The cars racing next April will be from the series’ original era, 1966-1972. Organizers said the 20-minute race will run Saturday, April 14, 2018 with a practice and qualifying component the day before.
During the original era, the series featured high-horsepower cars like Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros, AMC Javelins, Pontiac Firebirds and more.
“It’s exciting,” stated one of the original series drivers Parnelli Jones of the Historic Trans Am cars coming to Long Beach. “Back then, the competition was so keen, between the drivers, car manufacturers and even the tire manufacturers.”
Jones would have been the 1970 Trans Am champion had there been a drivers’ championship at that time, according to organizers.
The Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) will sanction the historic event.
“The invention of the ‘Pony Car’ with the introduction of the Ford Mustang in 1964, high performance marketing and the need to win on Sunday and sell on Monday all came together in the Trans-American Championship,” said Cris Vandagriff, president of the HMSA, in a statement. “There were more factory teams competing in Trans Am than in NASCAR. Ford, Chevrolet, American Motors, Plymouth, Pontiac and Dodge all slugged it out on the track. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s L.A. was the capitol of car culture in the U.S., what better place to showcase that era than the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with the Historic Trans Am.”
The Grand Prix is scheduled to take place April 13-15, 2018. Tickets go on sale to the public on October 23, with prices ranging from $33 to $147. Click here for more information.