2017: Just over a year ago, we celebrated the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, with James Hinchcliffe taking checkers on the Streets of Long Beach for the first time, not even six months after taking second place on Dancing With the Stars. Another DWTS veteran, Helio Castroneves would break the track record this year in qualifying, turning the fastest lap at 1:06.2254. No one knew that it would be the last time we would see Castroneves in an IndyCar here, but his legacy will live on in Long Beach between his on-track accomplishments and his 2018 induction into the city’s Motorsports Walk of Fame!
To replace the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, and to keep the historical luster of the race weekend, a Can-Am Challenge was included on the schedule to make it a six-race event. Fans loved hearing and seeing the 1,000 horsepower vehicles hits the Streets for the first time and really put the ROAR in the Shore!
Saturday’s concert series featured Kings of Chaos, with an appearance by Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington. Several months later, Bennington committed suicide, rendering this performance as one of his last. It was a beautiful and brilliant show, with him singing Stone Temple Pilots, The Cult and even Led Zeppelin favorites much to fans delight. He was energetic and his talent was bar-none as he rocked the stage in front of the Long Beach Convention Center. R.I.P., Chester, and thank you for sharing your mastery with the fans of TGPLB.
Clay Helton would serve as Grand Marshal, and THE face of SoCal would have the honor of waving the green flag and announcing “Gentleman, Start Your Engines!” in his equally famous cartoon voice. The one and only Mickey Mouse made a special appearance, filling hearts of all the families in attendance. ... See MoreSee Less