VRRROOM with a View: The Acura Grand Prix Returns to Long Beach
As it has for nearly half a century, the 49th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach returns to rock the International City as the world’s fastest cars power down Shoreline Drive at speeds approaching 200 mph. As always, the weekend is also packed with lots of drifting, stunts, food, music and plenty of other fun. Here’s a look at some of the action and attractions of the city’s biggest weekend event, Thursday-Sunday, April 13-16.
- The weekend’s activities get started by honoring the past as former Grand Prix champions James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter Reay will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame. Hunter-Reay, who won the race in 2010, and Hinchcliffe, who took the checkered flag in 2017, will be honored in a free ceremony, open to the public at 11 a.m. in front of the Long Beach Convention Center on South Pine Avenue.
- Thunder Thursday takes place at The Pike Outlets from 6-10 p.m. and features motorcycle stunts shows, race car displays, driver autographs, pit stop competitions, live bands, food tents, DJs and a whole lot more fun.
- The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach officially gets under way as gates open at 7:30 a.m. While opening day will feature various race practices and qualifying events, it will also kick off the three-day LifeStyle Expo featuring more than 100 displays in the latest in automotive, home, recreation, travel and entertainment products and services.
- The Family Fun Zone, located in the Long Beach Arena area of the Lifestyle Expo, will have games, racing simulators and rock climbing walls. Also, kids ages 3-6 years old can race in their very own race cars!
- Once again, the Grand Prix will feature a wide selection of exceptional food and drink. Not only will great local restaurants and pubs located around the 1.97-mile circuit be open and serving, but the very popular Food Truck Experience will once again be parked behind Grandstand 31, featuring a bevy of Southern California’s best gourmet food trucks.
- On the track, there will be numerous practice runs as well as qualifying laps for a variety of racing categories, everything from trucks to Porsches. At 6:30 p.m. the enormously popular Super Drift Challenge gets under way for the first of two events.
- Fiesta Friday, a free live music concert, takes place on the Terrace Plaza–located in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. The concert, free to that day’s ticket holders, will be headlined by LA-based DJ Boombox Cartel.
- With spectator gates opening at 7:30 a.m. An IndyCar practice session gets underway at 8:45 a.m. and racing begins with the Historic F1 Challenge Race where classic Formula 1 machines race around the track just as they did in the early days of the Grand Prix.
- At 2 p.m., the IMSA SportsCar Grand Prix hits the tracks with two classes of the most advanced, exotic cars on the planet engaging in a 100-minute competition.
- At 4:30 p.m., Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks Race #1 series, showcasing powerful, high-flying tracks performing wild ramp jumps, gets underway.
- Porsche Carrera Cup Race #1 goes off at 5:15 p.m., featuring 30 to 35 Porsche race cars on the track in a fiercely contested race.
- Drift fans will get another day of the popular motorsport with a 6:30 p.m. start to Formula D Super Drift Challenge Competition #2.
- The weekend's second free concert–to ticket holders–takes place at 6:30 p.m. and features King’s of Chaos. The brainchild of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, this international all-star band with a revolving lineup of top rock-and-roll talent, including vocalists Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), Corey Glover (Living Colour), Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) and Rome (Sublime).
- Gates open at 7:30 a.m. with racing beginning at 10:45 a.m. with the second Historic F1 Challenge Race.
- The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach gets under way at 12:45 p.m. The 85 laps around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn track is the third race of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series and features an international and world-class field of drivers including defending champion Josef Newgarden, past champions Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta and Alex Palou, as well as six-time series champion Scott Dixon.
- The end of the grand prix actually isn’t the end of the day’s racing. A second Stadium SUPER Trucks Race gets underway, as drivers engage in thrilling side-by-side action, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
- The weekend comes to an action packed and stylish conclusion as Porsche Carrera Cup Race #2 gets underway at 4:20 p.m. with identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup competing for final glory.
Tickets are available now at GPLB.com, at the Grand Prix Office at 3000 Pacific Ave. or by calling 888-827-7333.