Long Beach race contract extended to 2015

The partnership that has produced the country's premier street race has been extended.

The Long Beach City Council, in a unanimous vote, has renewed the city's contract with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach LLC, guaranteeing that the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be racing on the city streets through 2015, with an additional five-year option that could carry it through the year 2020.

"We're very proud that the City of Long Beach – whose vision and foresight has been instrumental in our success since the first race in 1975 – considers the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach such a key ingredient of the city's fabric," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach LLC.

"We will continue to stage the best street race in the nation and, through international TV and media coverage, showcase Long Beach not only as an unequalled tourist destination, but as a dynamic home to the American business community, as well."

The 34th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature the Champ Car World Series and 32nd Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity among six racing series battling on the 1.97-mile street circuit April 18-20.

And, for the first time, race cars will take to the streets on a Thursday. American Le Mans Series and Drifting cars will run practice laps from 3 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Thurs., April 17. Together with a variety of race celebrations being held on Pine Ave. and at The Pike, Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Village, all activities are free to the general public.

Race weekend will also feature the Grand Prix's groundbreaking "Green Power Prix-View" and an expanded Lifestyle and Alternative Energy Expo, aimed at exploring renewable energy sources as they apply not only to the California lifestyle, but to the world of fast cars, as well.

Ticket prices for Friday through Sunday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach range from $25 for a Friday General Admission ticket (no reserved seat) to $125 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available.

Credit card orders for the 2008 event can be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline – (888) 82-SPEED – or online by visiting www.gplb.com. Handicapped seating, Champ Car Paddock Passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages are also available. A ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices and order form can be obtained by calling the hotline.

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