Acura takes over title sponsorship of the Grand Prix of Long Beach

by Jordan Groves
Dane Cameron (USA), Team Penske Acura, 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Long Beach

The organisers of the Grand Prix of Long Beach have announced today that the event will be sponsored by Acura from 2019 onwards. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will see action from both the NTT IndyCar Series as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will take place in April.

Both Acura and its parent company Honda will be represented during the race weekend, with Honda taking part in IndyCar and Acura racing in IMSA.

For many years now, Toyota has become synonymous with Long Beach as the title sponsor of the Grand Prix event. Today’s announcement will see the iconic partnership come to an end.

What makes the announcement more special for Acura is that Long Beach is pretty much the home-track of the brand in the United States. Acura’s U.S. headquarters is located in Torrance, which is roughly half an hour away from Long Beach. In today’s announcement, Jon Ikeda, Acura’s vice president and general manager, stated that the brand was “delighted and proud” to be taking over sponsorship of such a historic event in motorsports.

“With our U.S. headquarters nearby in Torrance, this is a true ‘home’ event for the Acura brand,” said Ikeda. “The Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of North America’s premier motorsports events, and an institution in Southern California.  Acura is delighted and proud to be associated with the Grand Prix of Long Beach, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Alexander Rossi (USA), Andretti Autosport, 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, Long Beach

Credit: Joe Skibinski / Courtesy of IndyCar

The Grand Prix of Long Beach has become one of the most prestigious races in all of motorsport. Dating back to 1975, the event has been on the schedule of championships such as Formula 1Formula 5000 and, since 1984, IndyCar.

Since 2006, Sports Car championships have also been a part of the Grand Prix of Long Beach billing. The American Le Mans Series visited the event annually from 2007 until 2013, with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship taking over from 2014 until the present day.

This year, the Grand Prix of Long Beach will see the NTT IndyCar Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship joined by the Pirelli GT4 America series, the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, the Historic IMSA GTO Challenge and the ever-popular Stadium Super Trucks Series.

With such an eclectic mix of championships on display, the Grand Prix of Long Beach remains one of the most popular racing events in North America. Jim Michaelian, the president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, said in today’s announcement that Acura’s new sponsorship of the event marks “a new era” for the event which will see the Grand Prix reach “greater heights” in the future.

“This is truly the start of a new era in the history of the Grand Prix,” said Michaelian. “As we enter our 45th year of conducting America’s #1 street race, we are looking forward with great enthusiasm to this new partnership with a premium luxury brand like Acura. Together we will explore new ways to elevate the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach to greater heights in the coming years.”

The 2019 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach event will take place from April 12-14 later this year. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take part in a one hour and forty-minute race on Saturday, April 13, with the NTT IndyCar Series hitting the track for their race on Sunday, April 14.

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