The “Roar by the Shore” is less than two months away! Construction has begun on the iconic Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit in preparation for the April 13-15 race weekend.
Over the next 53 days, more than 2,400 concrete blocks that anchor the safety system around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn racing circuit will be placed along with 14 large grandstands that line the race course. The schedule reflects a reduced construction time frame that was agreed to between the City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach in their new contract.
“As construction begins, we are excited about this year’s event,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “With the addition of the Historic Trans Am on-track as well as our lineup of family activities off-track, our fans will enjoy non-stop action from Friday morning right through to the close on Sunday afternoon.”
“The Grand Prix is the largest special event in the City of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “Not only does it bring thousands of people to our beautiful downtown and waterfront – and millions more watching on national and international television – it brings a significant economic impact to the City and the region. As a City, we look forward to hosting a successful Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.”
In total, 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 – more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks, four miles of fencing and 17,000 bolted-together tires – along with grandstands, six pedestrian bridges and eight giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage. More than 180,000 fans are expected during race weekend.
Tanaka’s staff will also install 44 high-end hospitality suites, three 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.
The eastern portion of the racetrack (Turns 9, 10 and 11) will also be used for the traditional first race of the 2018 season for Formula Drift on April 6-7.
All businesses along the race circuit, which includes Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Way and Pine Ave., will remain open during construction of the racetrack.