Construction Begins on Race Circuit!
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2016) – The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is officially speeding into Spring! The 42nd edition of the iconic street race, set to take place April 15-17, took its first steps toward the green flag when the first full day of construction began this morning on Shoreline Drive, the racing circuit’s world-famous front straightaway.
The construction got underway with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia trying his hand at operating a brand-new Gehl forklift, placing one of the more than 2,400 concrete blocks that anchor the safety system around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn racing circuit. Garcia, along with Laborers Union Local 1309 Business Manager and Secretary/Treasurer Peter Santillan and Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian appeared at the track for a kickoff photo shoot in what will become the track’s Turn 10. The photo also included a Verizon IndyCar Series show car.
“The race has a huge economic impact to the city with hotel bookings, restaurants, businesses and all the people who come down to spend their money for the weekend,” said Garcia. “But it’s also a lot of fun and has a lot of tradition here. Generations of fans come here to enjoy it and we’re looking forward to a great race weekend.”
The setting of the first of more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks that line the track, as well as several grandstands on the eastern part of the course, marks the beginning of two months of work preparing for the more than 180,000 fans expected during race weekend.
Grand Prix Association of Long Beach Director of Operations Dwight Tanaka and his staff will put in more than 33,000 working hours installing the safety system – concrete blocks, four miles of fencing and 17,000 bolted-together tires – along with 15 huge spectator grandstands, seven pedestrian bridges and seven giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage.
Tanaka’s staff will also install 49 high-end hospitality suites, two hospitality clubs, tents, electrical lines and equipment, phones, porta-johns, trash containers and a myriad of other items around the track from now through race weekend.
Portions of the racetrack will also be used for the annual Long Beach ePrix on April 2, featuring the all-electric racecars of the FIA Formula E Series, as well as for the traditional first race of the 2016 season for Formula Drift on April 8-9.
All businesses along the race circuit, which includes Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Way and Pine Ave., will remain open during construction of the racetrack.
The 42nd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach with the cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 40th anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Pirelli World Challenge, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge.
“This lineup will provide an exciting weekend of racing, especially with the appearance of Robby Gordon’s trucks on all three days,” said Michaelian. “This should provide non-stop action from Friday morning right through to the close on Sunday afternoon.”
Fans can select and pay for their 2016 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333. Also featured on gplb.com is the latest Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach news, downloadable ticket brochure and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.
Ticket prices range from $30 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $142 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, Verizon IndyCar Series Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of hospitality packages.
Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB, Instagram at ToyotaGPLB and Snapchat at ToyotaGPLB.