The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced Tuesday that it has reached a multiyear agreement with Acura to become title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Long Beach starting this year. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the fourth event on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, will take place April 12-14. It will mark the 36th consecutive year that Indy cars will roar down Shoreline Drive and the rest of the iconic 1.968-mile temporary street course.
Acura is the luxury automotive brand from Honda, which has competed in Indy car racing since 1994 and the NTT IndyCar Series since 2003. Honda is the reigning INDYCAR manufacturer champion and powered Scott Dixon to the 2018 driver’s title as well.
The Long Beach weekend will provide Honda and Acura the opportunity to showcase both badges, with Honda in the NTT IndyCar Series race on Sunday, April 14 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network) and Acura in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Saturday, April 13.
Acura made a successful return to the top level of sports car racing last year, fielding two entries in the Prototype class with Team Penske. The driver combinations include Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya. Acura and its American Honda parent have their U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.
“With our U.S. headquarters nearby in Torrance, this is a true ‘home’ event for the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager. “The Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of North America’s premier motorsports events and an institution in Southern California. Acura is delighted and proud to be associated with the Grand Prix of Long Beach, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Honda-powered drivers have won six of the last 10 Indy car races at Long Beach – and 13 times in 19 overall appearances – including last year with Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport. Native Californian Jimmy Vasser scored Honda’s first Long Beach victory in 1996 with Chip Ganassi Racing. Other Honda-powered winners include Alex Zanardi (1997-98), Michael Andretti (2002), Dario Franchitti (2009), Takuma Sato (2013) and James Hinchcliffe (2017).
“This is truly the start of a new era in the history of the grand prix,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “As we enter our 45th year of conducting America’s No. 1 street race (the first nine years featured Formula 5000 and Formula One events), we are looking forward with great enthusiasm to this new partnership with a premium luxury brand like Acura. Together, we will explore new ways to elevate the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach to greater heights in the coming years.”
Fans may purchase Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach tickets, parking and paddock passes at gplb.com or by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, 888-827-7333.