Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach officials marked the start of construction on the circuit for the 44th annual race today.
The kick off in front of the grandstand in Turn 10 within the Long Beach Arena parking lot featured racing legend Parnelli Jones, Toyota Grand Prix CEO Jim Michaelian, a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and a Verizon IndyCar.
The construction started yesterday on the 1.97-mile temporary race circuit. More than 1,400 concrete blocks forming the temporary racetrack, debris fencing and grandstand seating will continue to be constructed over the next seven weeks.
The Historic Trans Am Challenge will run for the first time at the Toyota Grand Prix April 13-15 along with five other races that will be spread throughout all three days. The event will feature over 120 cars during the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA’s BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, Pirelli World Challenge, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge.
The event will feature an international field of world-class drivers including Series champion Josef Newgarden, defending Long Beach champion James Hinchliffe and Long Beach winners Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Takuma Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais.
“It’s different to attend an event like this where you can sit very close to the course and you can feel all the vibrations and hear the sounds,” said Michaelian. “The impact it has is different certainly than watching it on television.”
Michaelian says he wants to make sure that they can provide the most exciting, entertaining, fan-friendly event.
Concerts free to race ticket holders will be held on the stage outside the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center on April 13 and 14. The Lifestyle Expo will feature over 150 exhibitors that offer the latest products and services at the weekend-long event along with activities that will be included in the kid’s zone.
Jones will have an autograph session scheduled on Sunday morning with the car he won during a championship on display.
Tickets can be purchased at the Grand Prix Office or online here. Tickets can also be purchased at the Grand Prix downtown ticket office beginning of April 9.