The 36th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach logo on the side of an IZOD IndyCar Series Dallara show car on display outside of V2O Nightclub & Events Center during the Committee of 300 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach KICKOFF PARTY. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)
36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach events cheatsheet
The 36th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach activities get started in earnest this week as the ticket office opens and events are firmed up for all to enjoy during race weekend "At The Beach". The Grand Prix downtown ticket office opened Monday March 22, 2010, and is located at 300 E. Seaside Way in Long Beach (near the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center box office). The office is expected to be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
One of the anticipated events that kick-off the weekend of April 16-18 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, featuring six races including the IZOD IndyCar Series, is the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame induction ceremony that happens the day before the formal activities get started - April 15, 2010 at 11:00am - Pine Avenue in front of the Long Beach Convention Center.
The City of Long Beach kicks off the 2010 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach by honoring two additional members to the 5th annual Motorsports Walk of Fame: Michael Andretti (whose father, Mario, is already honored with a medallion and whose son, Marco will be competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series race) and Danny Sullivan. The event honors motorsports stars that have either lived in Long Beach or have graced the oceanside city with their talent, along the way to a pinnacle career behind the wheel in sporting competition.
A one-of-a-kind, two-foot in diameter medallion was cast, listing the name and accomplishments of the honoree, then set in cement for all race fans and visitors to see as they walk down the east side of Pine avenue in front of the Convention Center. Past inductees include Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Brian Redman, Chris Pook, Paul Newman, Carl Haas, Al Unser, Jr., Bobby Rahal, Parnelli Jones, and Gary Gabelich. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2008)
The official three-day event, headlined with the fourth stop in the IZOD IndyCar Series 17 race season, that runs from April 16-18 also includes: the popular Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race; the technologically advanced sports cars of the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race; Firestone Indy Lights; Team Drifting Challenge and the SCCA Pro World Challenge.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will again boast a star-studded lineup that includes the return of Keanu Reeves, who will defend his 2009 race win, skateboarding icon Tony Hawk and Christian Slater tangling with professional drivers such as former CART champion Jimmy Vasser and Drifting ace Tanner Foust in an always-action-packed 10-lap dash for charity.
In addition to wheel-to-wheel racing, fans can enjoy the Tecate Light Fiesta Friday Concert Presented by Exitos 93.9 at 6:30 p.m., with the potent one-two punch of "Molotov" and "Maldita Vecindad." On Saturday, the Tecate Light Rock-N-Roar Concert Presented by KLOS at 6:30 p.m. features classic rockers "Cheap Trick."
Both concerts, held on the Convention Center outdoor stage, are free to race ticket holders.
The weekend-long Lifestyle Expo in the Convention Center - free to all ticket holders - features the alternative energy vehicles of "Green Power Prix-View" and highlights renewable energy sources and a host of energy tips for inside AND outside the home, as well as racecars, games, simulators, and BMX bike exhibitions. A new addition, Arena Jamm, will take place inside the Long Beach Arena and feature over 20 local musical acts providing a constant stream of entertainment throughout the weekend.
Of course, if paying for tickets is not your thing, and you would rather be a part of the 36th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as opposed to just watching the show, join the Committee Of 300. Volunteer and be seen assisting on staffing for the Los Angeles and Orange County Auto Shows, the Belmont Shore Auto Classics Show, the Belmont Shore, Seal Beach, and Daisy Lane holiday parades, and are supporters of the STEEL MAGNOLIAS, an organization for the Stramski Children's Development Center at Memorial Hospital ... the C-300! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)
The famed race circuit, which includes the downtown streets of Long Beach surrounding the Long Beach Entertainment and Convention Center, is 1.97 miles in length and includes 11 turns. Grandstands lining the circuit include reserved seating, limited general admission seats, and seating for various hospitality club ticket packages.
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, IZOD IndyCar Paddock Passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of hospitality club packages - including the all-new Vista Club atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel - are also available.
So get your tickets to the 36th annual Race at the Beach weekend, see some famous race drivers get honored, and don't forget to slap on your "SPF 500" sunscreen. It always is sunny and hot around Shoreline Drive, the Aquarium and Ocean Avenue as the sound of high-revving naturally aspirated Honda engines echo off of the buildings and fill the air.
Flowers, sunshine, SPF sunscreen, and the sound of race engines ... it MUST be spring in Southern California.
... notes from The EDJE