90,000 turn out in Long Beach Sunday

This city is a charm for Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, who on Sunday dominated the 33rd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to grab his third consecutive victory here.

An estimated 90,000 packed the shoreline of downtown Long Beach as a pair of Boeing-made F-18 fighter jets roared overhead on a bright and slightly breezy day.

Race Grand Marshal George Lucas, flanked by a pair of "Star Wars" storm troopers, kickstarted the thunderous Champ Car World Series with the words: "Gentlemen, start your engines."

The Red Bull Sky Diving Team landed a few feet from the finish line, following speeches by Grand Prix Association President & CEO Jim Michaelian and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

After the race, Michaelian said attendance on Sunday, as well as for the entire three days, appeared to be the strongest in a while.

The association doesn't give out attendance figures, but Michaelian didn't dispute the estimates of 90,000 for Sunday and 180,000 over the whole three days.

"When we sit down and count the numbers, I think this will be the most successful weekend since 2002," he said. "We had a full house. I thought, all-in-all, it was a fabulously successful weekend." More at Long Beach Press Telegram

Leave a Reply