Famed Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach Racing Circuit Beginning To Take Shape

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2013) — The green flag signaling the start of construction for the 39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run April 19-21, fell this morning on Shoreline Drive, the famed racing circuit’s front straightaway.

The honorary construction foremen were Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Papadakis Racing owner Stephan Papadakis, Formula DRIFT President & Co-Founder Jim Liaw and Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian. Also on-hand were the Papadakis Racing Scion tC, which will be driven in 2013 by top Drifting driver Frederic Aasbo, and, courtesy of Toyota Motorsports, an all-new, race-prepared Scion FR-S that will be driven in the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

“Our race circuit will feature something extra this year as we will be hosting the first-ever night racing in the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge on Friday and Saturday,” said Michaelian. “Along with the six other racing events here in April, this should make for one of the most entertaining weekends in our history.”

The setting of the first of more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks that line the track marks the beginning of two months of work preparing for the 175,000 fans expected during race weekend.

“It’s three days of great parties and great racing,” said Foster. “The Grand Prix brings a lot of people to Long Beach. Our hotels get filled up, our restaurants get filled up and people understand that Long Beach is a really a great city, a great place to have a good time.”

Track Construction
More than 30,000 working hours will be spent installing the  blocks, three miles of fencing and 16,000 bolted-together tires, along with 16 huge spectator grandstands, seven pedestrian bridges and giant-vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage. The heavy-duty blocks and fencing, however, are merely a start.“

Leading up to race weekend, our staff will also install hospitality suites, tents, electrical  equipment, phones, porta-johns, trash containers and a hundred other little things up until race weekend,” said Dwight Tanaka, director of operations for the Grand Prix Association.  “Then, when the last checkered flag falls on Sunday night, we start to take everything down, inspect it and get ready for next year.”

All businesses along the race circuit, which includes Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Way and Pine Ave., will remain open during construction of the racetrack.

The 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature racing from the IZOD IndyCar Series, Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series, Firestone Indy Lights, Pirelli World Challenge, Formula DRIFT, Robby Gordon OFF-ROAD Stadium SUPER Trucks and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

Fans can select and pay for their seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Tickets can also be ordered by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED, and callers can request a printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information. 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 $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 for a threeday ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels.  Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages.

Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB and on Twitter @ToyotaGPLB.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgjW2qDTKp0&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

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Motegi Racing to Sponsor Super Drift Challenge at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2013) – Motegi Racing will be the title sponsor of the Super Drift Challenge, the first night race in the 39-year history of the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21, race officials announced today.

The Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, an invitational Formula DRIFT event, will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights on the eastern end of the race circuit – turns nine, 10 and 11 – and is expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers including 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito, 2011 champ Daijiro Yoshihara, plus Frederic Aasbo, Aurimas Bakchis, Michael Essa, Conrad Grunewald, Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida, Justin Pawlak, Matt Powers and others to be announced. Friday’s action will include practice and qualifying runs, while Saturday will see the teams compete for a $25,000 prize pool. On Sunday, the Super Drift Challenge cars will drift the entire race circuit after the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Grand Prix fans that purchase any admission ticket for Friday or Saturday racing activities will be able to see that day’s Super Drift Challenge. Seating for the Super Drift Challenge will be in Grandstands 16, 18, 24, 25 and 26 on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“Motegi Racing is pleased to be part of the first night race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in nearly four decades,” said Marketing Director Rhett Sander. “The Super Drift Challenge is a great addition to the race weekend and we look forward to seeing a great smoke show under the lights.”

“We are excited to have Motegi Racing expand on their relationship here at Long Beach to include the entitlement of our first-ever night racing event,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “This is just another example of the added value that will be provided to all of our race fans over the weekend at no additional cost.”

Motegi Racing has been a supporter of drifting in the United States since its first season and has backed top drivers including Fredric Aasbo, Matt Powers, and Tanner Foust. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a special weekend for the aftermarket wheel company, which backs teams and drivers in many of the races on the schedule including drifting, ALMS and IndyCar.

In addition to the Super Drift Challenge, the 2013 Grand Prix will again be headlined on the track by the IZOD IndyCar Series®.  Also featured will be the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series, the fan-favorite Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Firestone Indy Lights and Pirelli World Challenge.

Off the track, the Grand Prix’s menu of family entertainment includes free Friday and Saturday night Tecate Light concerts and the Lifestyle Expo with an expanded Family Fun Zone with racing simulators, kids’ racing cars, computer games and action sports. Add to that driver autograph sessions, a Go-Kart track for adult racers, the Food Truck Experience, Sunday’s Mothers Exotic Car Paddock, and it’s a weekend packed full of activity.

Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 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, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages. Fans can select and pay for their 2013 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) 82-SPEED.

Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB and on Twitter @ToyotaGPLB.

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