The 44th annual
The Party is On!
Billed as the ultimate “Party on the Beach,” the event featured much for fans to see and do.
The inaugural, sold-out, “Run the Course” 5K walk/run for charity let fans experience the iconic racetrack first-hand. The free “Roar in the Shore” included Pirelli World Challenge car displays and driver autographs, racing simulators and motorcycle stunts. Miss Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was officially crowned.
Racing legends and past Long Beach winners
The annual “Thursday Thunder at The Pike Outlets” was a free pre-race party featuring live music, motocross freestyle demonstration, motorcycle stunts and an IndyCar pitstop competition.
Alexander Rossi, the Verizon IndyCar Series and “The Amazing Race”
In an exciting race that had five different leaders, American driver Alexander Rossi – winner of the 100th
Alexander is a genuinely nice guy. He revealed a fascinating, rarely seen, unvarnished look at himself off of the racetrack when he and fellow IndyCar racer Conor Daly participated as a team on the 30th and most recent season of the long-running CBS reality TV show “The Amazing Race” (https://www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race/cast/215794/, #TeamIndyCar, @AlexanderRossi).
Before the IndyCar race Alexander told me that “what they’re portraying is true. It is a reality TV show in the sense that there’s no second takes, there’s no scripts, there’s no need to act this way, so everything you’re seeing actually did happen.” As for how his experience as a driver may have helped him in the race, “I don’t think any, other than the fact that both Conor and I were very used to travelling internationally. For someone that hasn’t done that, that can be a pretty taxing experience – always waking up in a different hotel room, and being jet-lagged and stuff. I think that our careers kind of prepared us for that. At the end of the day we were both trying to win. We came close but not quite close enough.”
As for the IndyCar race, “it’s a special weekend because it’s kind of the second home race for me. I think we have like 40 or 50 guests coming down from Northern California, and friends and family, so that always makes Long Beach pretty special.” I’m sure they were all thrilled with his race win.
Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach (IMSA)
In the 70-lap race won by J. Barbosa and F. Albuquerque in a Cadillac, the competitors’ cars also included Nissan, Mazda, Acura, ORECA, Corvette, Ford GT, Cadillac (fastest lap), BMW M8,
Pirelli World Challenge
Daniel Mancinelli, in his Ferrari 488 GT3, emerged victorious in a field that also included these exotic racecars: Bentley Continental, Porsche 911, Lamborghini Huracan, Audi R8, McLaren 570S, Porsche Cayman and
Historic Trans Am Challenge
A new race for this year, 1966-72 era Camaros, Mustangs and Javelins were featured. Jimmy Hague, driving a 1970 Boss 302 Mustang, led the 30-car field across the finish line. Parnelli Jones – the winner of the 1970 championship and there with his #15 yellow Mustang – held an autograph session.
Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge
On Friday and Saturday nights some of the best drifters in the world drifted side-by-side between the concrete walls of the racetrack’s turns 9-11, producing billowing clouds of tire smoke.
SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks
The 45th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be held on April 12 – 14, 2019. Sign up for their newsletter at https://gplb.com.
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Copyright © 2018 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #548