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Grand Prix of Long Beach

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Verizon IndyCar Series
Location Long Beach, California
Corporate sponsor Toyota
First race 1975
First ICS race 2009
Distance 157.440 mi (253.375 km)
Laps 80
Previous names Long Beach Grand Prix (1975)
United States Grand Prix West (1976–1979)
Toyota Grand Prix of the United States (1980–1981, 1983)
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (1982, 1986-Present)
Long Beach Grand Prix (1984-1985)
Most wins (driver) Al Unser, Jr. (6)
Most wins (team) Newman/Haas Racing (6)
Most wins (manufacturer) Lola (11)
Circuit information
Length 1.968 mi (3.167 km)
Turns 11
Lap record 1:06.6294 (Hélio Castroneves, Dallara DW12 Chevrolet, 2015, IndyCar)

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is an open-wheel race held on a street circuit in Long Beach, California. Christopher Pook is the founder and promoter which began as a vision while working at a travel agency in downtown Long Beach. It was the premier circuit in Champ Car from 1996, and was the first event in the World Series each year from 2004. The 2008 race was the last race for Champ Cars as the series merged with the Indy Racing League.[1][2] It is now an event on the IndyCar Series calendar.

The Long Beach Grand Prix in April is the single largest event in the city of Long Beach. Attendance for the weekend regularly reaches or exceeds 200,000 people.

The Long Beach Grand Prix is the longest running major "street" race held on the North American continent. It started in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race on the streets of downtown, and became a Formula One event in 1976. Incredibly, in an era when turbocharged engines were starting to come to prominence in Formula One, Long Beach remains one of the few circuits used from the time Renault introduced turbos in 1977 until the last Long Beach Grand Prix in 1983 that never once saw a turbo powered car take victory.

John Watson's win for McLaren in the final race at Long Beach holds the F1 record for the lowest ever starting position for a race winner. In a grid consisting of 26 cars, Watson started 22nd in his McLaren-Ford. That same race also saw Watson's team mate (and 1982 Long Beach winner) Niki Lauda finish second after starting 23rd on the grid. René Arnoux, who finished third in his Ferrari 126C2B, was the only driver to ever finish on the Formula One podium at Long Beach using a turbocharged car.

From 1984 to 2008 it was a CART Indycar/Champ Car event. Other popular events during the Grand Prix week include a Firestone Indy Lights race, a Tudor United SportsCar Championship race, and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

The Long Beach Grand Prix has been announced since 1978 by Bruce Flanders (and his assorted guest announcers).

Contents

  • Circuit 1
  • Events 2
    • 2008 and the Long Beach/Motegi "split weekend" 2.1
    • Drifting 2.2
    • North American Touring Car Championship 2.3
    • Formula E 2.4
    • Future 2.5
  • Winners 3
    • Atlantics/Indy Lights 3.1
    • American Le Mans Series / Grand-Am / IMSA 3.2
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Circuit

Mark Smith driving in the 1993 race

The current race circuit is a 1.968-mile (3.167 km) temporary road course carved out of the city streets surrounding the Long Beach Convention Center which actually doubled as the pit paddock during the days of Formula One. The circuit also goes primarily over the former location of The Pike historic amusement zone. It is particularly noted for its last section, which sees a hairpin turn followed by a long, slightly curved front straightaway which runs the length of Shoreline Drive. The circuit is situated on the Long Beach waterfront, and is lined with palm trees (especially along the front straightaway towards the Aquarium of the Pacific), making for a scenic track.

Events

Although the Verizon IndyCar Series race is the main event, a number of other races are also held. On April 8, 2006, the Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes took to the streets, replacing the suspended Trans-Am Series. Beginning in 2007, the American Le Mans Series replaced Grand-Am. Other races include Indy Lights (which replaced the Atlantic Championship in 2009) and the popular Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. Starting in 2013, the circuit has also held the Stadium Super Trucks.[3] Additionally, a week of fairs, music, and promotional activities is held.

2008 and the Long Beach/Motegi "split weekend"

During negotiations which led to the merging of the Champ Car World Series and the IRL IndyCar Series, a problem came in the form of a scheduling conflict between the Champ Car race scheduled at Long Beach and the IndyCar race held at Twin Ring Motegi the same weekend. Honda, who owns the Motegi complex and also supplies equipment to the IndyCar Series, could not change their scheduled race date of April 19. Likewise, Long Beach could not change their race weekend (with the Champ Car race scheduled for April 20), such change being a difficult task considering the civil and infrastructural preparations required for a temporary street circuit.

However, all problems were resolved when the two open wheel series agreed to merge in February 2008. Indy Racing League), with Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe (the former co-owners of Champ Car) planned an unprecedented "split weekend" of races at Twin Ring Motegi and Long Beach. This compromise allowed all IRL drivers to race in Japan, while ex-Champ Car drivers raced at Long Beach. Both races counted towards the 2008 IndyCar Series Championship. The Long Beach Grand Prix allowed all Champ Car drivers to race with their turbocharged Panoz-Cosworth Champ Cars that would have been used had the merger not taken place. Long Beach/Motegi was the only split weekend of the 2008 IndyCar Series.

Drifting

Beginning in 2005 the event included a demonstration by participants in the Formula D drifting series. Since 2006 Formula D has held the first round of their pro series on Turns 9-11 on the weekend prior to the Grand Prix. In 2013 the Motegi Super Drift Challenge, a drifting competition, was added on the GP weekend, using the same Turn 9-11 course as Formula D. The Motegi Super Drift Challenge is the only event during the GP that runs at night, under floodlights.

North American Touring Car Championship

Long Beach hosted the opening round of the 1997 North American Touring Car Championship season, being won by Neil Crompton in a Honda Accord.

Formula E

Long Beach Formula E Circuit as was used during the sixth round of FIA Formula E.

A modified version of the Long Beach Grand Prix track will be used during the Long Beach ePrix of Formula E. This championship for electric open-wheel cars will visit Long Beach, California on April 4, 2015, two weeks before the IndyCar race. The track is 2.1 km (1.3 mi) in length and features seven turns.[4][5] Admission will be free: "the free admission will afford everyone the opportunity to come out and witness this historic and unique event," Jim Michaelian, president of the Grand Prix Assn. of Long Beach, said in a statement.[6][7]

Future

Promoters of the IndyCar Long Beach Grand Prix have announced plans to bid for the race to return to Formula One.[8] The race was originally run as a round of the World Championship under the name United States West Grand Prix from 1976 until 1983 before joining the IndyCar series in 1984. The City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association have contracted to hold the Grand Prix through June 30, 2018.[9]

Winners

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
Formula 5000
1975 Sept 28 Brian Redman Boraxo Lola Lola T332 Chevrolet 50 101 (162.543) 1:10:12 86.325 Report
Formula 1
1976 March 28 Clay Regazzoni Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312T2 Ferrari 80 161.6 (260.069) 1:53:18 85.572 Report
1977 April 3 Mario Andretti John Player Team Lotus Lotus 78 Ford Cosworth 80 161.6 (260.069) 1:51:35 82.925 Report
1978 April 2 Carlos Reutemann Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T3 Ferrari 80 161.6 (260.069) 1:52:01 86.555 Report
1979 April 8 Gilles Villeneuve Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312T4 Ferrari 80 161.6 (260.069) 1:50:25 87.812 Report
1980 March 30 Nelson Piquet Parmalat Brabham Racing Team Brabham BT49 Ford Cosworth 80 161.6 (260.069) 1:50:18 87.899 Report
1981 March 15 Alan Jones Albilad Williams Racing Team Williams FW07B Ford Cosworth 80 161.6 (260.069) 1:50:41 87.601 Report
1982 April 4 Niki Lauda Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1B Ford Cosworth 75 159.75 (257.092) 1:58:25 80.939 Report
1983 March 27 John Watson Marlboro McLaren International McLaren MP4/1C Ford Cosworth 75 152.55 (245.505) 1:53:34 80.624 Report
CART Indycar/Champ Car
1984 March 31 Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Cosworth 112 187.04 (301.011) 2:15:23 82.898 Report
1985 April 14 Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Cosworth 90 150.3 (241.884) 1:42:50 87.694 Report
1986 April 13 Michael Andretti Kraco Racing March Cosworth 95 158.65 (255.322) 1:57:34 80.965 Report
1987 April 5 Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 95 158.65 (255.322) 1:51:33 85.33 Report
1988 April 17 Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing March Chevrolet-Ilmor 95 158.65 (255.322) 1:53:47 83.655 Report
1989 April 16 Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 95 158.65 (255.322) 1:51:19 85.503 Report
1990 April 22 Al Unser, Jr. Galles/Kraco Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 95 158.65 (255.322) 1:53:00 84.227 Report
1991 April 14 Al Unser, Jr. Galles/Kraco Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 95 158.65 (255.322) 1:57:14 81.195 Report
1992 April 12 Danny Sullivan Galles/Kraco Racing Galmer Chevrolet-Ilmor 105 166.95 (268.679) 1:48:56 91.945 Report
1993 April 18 Paul Tracy Penske Racing Penske Chevrolet-Ilmor 105 166.95 (268.679) 1:47:36 93.089 Report
1994 April 17 Al Unser, Jr. Penske Racing Penske Ilmor 105 166.95 (268.679) 1:40:53 99.283 Report
1995 April 9 Al Unser, Jr. Penske Racing Penske Mercedes-Benz-Ilmor 105 166.95 (268.679) 1:49:32 91.422 Report
1996 April 14 Jimmy Vasser Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 105 166.95 (268.679) 1:44:02 96.281 Report
1997 April 13 Alex Zanardi Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 105 166.53 (268.004) 1:46:17 93.999 Report
1998 April 5 Alex Zanardi Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 105 165.27 (265.976) 1:51:29 88.946 Report
1999 April 18 Juan Pablo Montoya Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 85 155.04 (249.512) 1:45:48 87.915 Report
2000 April 16 Paul Tracy Team Green Reynard Honda 82 161.376 (259.709) 1:57:11 82.626 Report
2001 April 8 Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing Reynard Honda 82 161.376 (259.709) 1:52:17 86.223 Report
2002 April 14 Michael Andretti Team Green Reynard Honda 90 177.12 (285.047) 2:02:14 86.935 Report
2003 April 13 Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 90 177.12 (285.047) 1:56:01 91.59 Report
2004 April 18 Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 81 159.408 (256.542) 1:44:12 91.785 Report
2005 April 10 Sébastien Bourdais Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 81 159.408 (256.542) 1:46:29 89.811 Report
2006 April 9 Sébastien Bourdais Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 74 145.632 (234.371) 1:40:07 87.268 Report
2007 April 15 Sébastien Bourdais Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Panoz Cosworth 78 153.504 (247.04) 1:40:43 91.432 Report
2008 April 20 Will Power KV Racing Panoz Cosworth 83 163.344 (262.876) 1:45:25 92.964 Report
Verizon IndyCar Series
2009 April 19 Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 85 167.28 (269.211) 1:58:47 84.491 Report
2010 April 18 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda 85 167.28 (269.211) 1:47:13 93.619 Report
2011 April 17 Mike Conway Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda 85 167.28 (269.211) 1:53:11 88.676 Report
2012 April 15 Will Power Penske Racing Dallara Chevrolet 85 167.28 (269.211) 1:54:02 88.021 Report
2013 April 21 Takuma Sato A. J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara Honda 80 157.44 (253.375) 1:50:09 85.763 Report
2014 April 13 Mike Conway Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara Chevrolet 80 157.44 (253.375) 1:54:42 82.362 Report
2015 April 19 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Chevrolet 80 157.44 (253.375) 1:37:35 96.8 Report

Atlantics/Indy Lights

American Le Mans Series / Grand-Am / IMSA

IMSA GT Championship
Year GTO GTU Report
1990 Dorsey Schroeder
Mercury Cougar
John Finger
Mazda MX-6
Report
1991 Steve Millen
Nissan 300ZX
John Fergus
Dodge Daytona
Report
Rolex Sports Car Series
Year DP Report
2006 Scott Pruett
Luis Díaz
Riley Mk XX-Lexus
Report
American Le Mans Series
Year LMP1 LMP2 GT1 GT2 Report
2007 Rinaldo Capello
Allan McNish
Audi R10 TDI
Romain Dumas
Timo Bernhard
Porsche RS Spyder
Oliver Gavin
Olivier Beretta
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R
Mika Salo
Jaime Melo
Ferrari F430GT
Report
2008 Marco Werner
Lucas Luhr
Audi R10 TDI
Scott Sharp
David Brabham
Acura ARX-01b
Johnny O'Connell
Jan Magnussen
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R
Dominik Farnbacher
Dirk Müller
Ferrari F430GT
Report
2009 Gil de Ferran
Simon Pagenaud
Acura ARX-02a
Adrián Fernández
Luis Díaz
Acura ARX-01b
Oliver Gavin
Olivier Beretta
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R
Patrick Long
Jörg Bergmeister
Porsche 911 GT3-RSR
Report
LMP LMPC GT GTC
2010 David Brabham
Simon Pagenaud
HPD ARX-01c
Elton Julian
Gunnar Jeannette
Oreca FLM09/Chevrolet
Patrick Long
Jörg Bergmeister
Porsche 911 GT3-RSR
Juan González
Butch Leitzinger
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
Report
LMP1 LMP2 LMPC GT GTC
2011 Klaus Graf
Lucas Luhr
Lola-Aston Martin B09/60
Scott Tucker
Christophe Bouchut
HPD ARX-03b
Gunnar Jeannette
Ricardo González
Oreca FLM09/Chevrolet
Dirk Müller
Joey Hand
BMW M3
Tim Pappas
Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
Report
2012 Klaus Graf
Lucas Luhr
HPD ARX-03a
Scott Tucker
Christophe Bouchut
HPD ARX-03b
Alex Popow
Ryan Dalziel
Oreca FLM09/Chevrolet
Oliver Gavin
Tommy Milner
Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1
Peter LeSaffre
Damien Faulkner
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
Report
2013 Klaus Graf
Lucas Luhr
HPD ARX-03a
Scott Sharp
Guy Cosmo
HPD ARX-03b
Jon Bennett
Colin Braun
Oreca FLM09/Chevrolet
Bill Auberlen
Maxime Martin
BMW Z4 GTE
Sean Edwards
Henrique Cisneros
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
Report
Tudor United SportsCar Championship (Professional Classes Only)
Year Prototype GT Le Mans Report
2014 Scott Pruett
Memo Rojas
Riley DP/Ford
Antonio García
Jan Magnussen
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
Report
2015 Ricky Taylor
Jordan Taylor
Corvette DP/Chevrolet
Dirk Werner
Bill Auberlen
BMW Z4 GTE
Report
  • Overall winners in bold
2005 Long Beach Grand Prix, showing turn 10 and the Long Beach skyline.

References

  1. ^ Morales, Robert (February 27, 2008). "Champ Car finale to roar into L.B.". The Long Beach Press-Telegram. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  2. ^ Steven Cole Smith (2007-11-06). "Champ Car schedule "stable" for 2008". www.autoweek.com. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Schedule".  
  4. ^ "Circuit Guide | Long Beach, USA - Round 7 | FIA Formula E". FIA Formula E. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Formula E to race on streets of Long Beach in 2015". FIA Formula E. 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  6. ^ "Formula E electric-car race in Long Beach to have free admission". LA Times. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  7. ^ "Environmentally friendly auto racing series Formula E coming to Long Beach". FIA Formula E. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  8. ^ "Chris Pook on the Grand Prix of Long Beach in West Coast of United States". F1 al dia. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Stewart, Joshua (April 22, 2014). "Grand Prix will stay in Long Beach until 2018". Long Beach Register. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 

Further reading

  • Morris, Gordon (December 17, 2013). "More Than 40 Years Ago, The ‘Roar On The Shore’ Was Born". Long Beach Business Journal. 
  • The magic of Long Beach - Racer, David Malsher, 7 April 2014
  • Long Beach a success story - ESPN, John Oreovicz, 9 April 2014

External links

  • Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
  • Map and circuit history at RacingCircuits.info
Preceded by
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Current
IndyCar Series races
Succeeded by
Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
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