Long Beach GP track construction begins

Concrete walls being put in place
Concrete walls being put in place
Liezl Estipona

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2017) – The "Roar by the Shore" is just two months away! Construction has begun on the iconic Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit in preparation for the April 7-9 race weekend.

The first of more than 2,400 concrete blocks that anchor the safety system around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn racing circuit have been placed, and construction crews are beginning to build the 14 huge grandstands that line the race course.

Featuring a wide variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Grand Prix will be headlined by the second round of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series, as well as the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its all-new prototype cars. In addition, the weekend will include the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights; SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks, the powerful sports cars of the Pirelli World Challenge and the new-for-2017 Can-Am Challenge. There will also be concerts, free to race ticket holders, on Friday and Saturday nights.

“The start of our track construction really signals that spring is right around the corner," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “This year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is going to be bigger, better and faster than ever before. We’ve got a great lineup of activities that should provide our fans non-stop action from Friday morning right through to the close on Sunday afternoon."

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 – grandstands, six pedestrian bridges and seven giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage. More than 180,000 fans are expected during race weekend.

2017 Track Map
2017 Track Map

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 2017 season for Formula Drift on March 31-April 1.

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

Fans can select and pay for their Grand Prix 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 and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.

Ticket prices range from $32 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.

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