Free Thursday at Long Beach If you've got a sick day in the bank, it might be a good idea to use it on Thursday, April 16 to attend the FREE day of racing and fun at the 35th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach!
At 11 a.m., racing greats Al Unser Jr. - a six-time winner on the streets of Long Beach - and Bobby Rahal will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame (Pine Ave. at the Convention Center), joining past inductees Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Paul Newman, Carl Haas, Chris Pook and Brian Redman.
On the famed 1.97-mile racing circuit, the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series cars will be turning hot practice laps at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., while the Lifestyle Expo in the Convention Center will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. No ticket is required for entry to the racetrack on Thursday.
Tecate's "Thursday Thunder on Pine" from 6:30-9 p.m. between Broadway and 4th streets in downtown Long Beach features freestyle motocross, BMX, live music and the Tecate Light Miss Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach pageant.
There's free admission to "Shark Lagoon" at the Aquarium of the Pacific from 6 to 9 p.m. You can touch the ocean's ultimate predator, shop in the Shark Shack gift store and enjoy live music and Grand Prix drink specials. And, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fri., April 17, the entire Aquarium will be open to race ticketholders for just $10 per person. www.aquariumofthepacific.org/ more info.
"Tuner Thursday at The Pike," starting at 6:30 p.m., features an exciting pit stop contest between two IndyCar teams, as well as the cars and drivers of the Formula Drift Championship and cars from the SpoCom Show. You can watch the hot pit stop action, enjoy the cars and get autographs from the drivers! Visit www.ThePikeatLongBeach.com for details.
And in Shoreline Village there will be live music, go-karting and driver competitions from 3-10 p.m.
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach admission prices for Friday through Sunday have not changed from 2008, and range from $25 for a Friday-only general admission ticket to $125 for a three-day ticket, which includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating on upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are also available.
In addition to the downtown walk-up service, tickets can be ordered via credit card by using the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.gplb.com or at Ticketmaster outlets. Handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock Passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of hospitality club packages are also available.