Long Beach extends deal with Toyota

Long Beach Shoreline Dr
Jon Yoshinaga

The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. and the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association to continue as the title sponsor of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The extension ensures that Toyota’s 41-year relationship with America’s premier street race will continue. Toyota has been title sponsor of the event since 1980, thought to be the longest consecutive entitlement in professional sports, while the automaker’s presence dates back to serving as the official pace car at the event’s inaugural running in 1975.

“For the last four decades, Toyota has been proud of its affiliation with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach," said Dave Harbuck, corporate manager of motorsports and engagement marketing, Toyota. “This title sponsorship has provided Toyota with the opportunity to showcase great racing in a fun environment for the fans."

As part of the new agreement, Toyota will once again become title sponsor of the fan-favorite Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, which has played host to the biggest stars of the entertainment and sports world since 1977. The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, featuring identically-prepared Scion FR-S race cars, has become the most prestigious and longest lasting event of its kind. During its 39 year history, Toyota has donated more than $2 million dollars to local children’s hospitals on behalf of the “Racing for Kids" charitable organization.

In addition to the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach features the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, KMC Wheels Super Drift Challenge, SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Series and Pirelli World Challenge with more support events to be announced.

“We are absolutely thrilled to continue our relationship with Toyota Motor Sales and the Southern California Toyota Dealers Association," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “They have been an extraordinary partner in our event from the very beginning, and we look forward to extending this relationship to new heights in the coming years."

The 2016 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will run April 15-17. For more information, visit gplb.com or 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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