2020 Grand Prix of Long Beach officially cancelled after failed reschedule

by Justin Nguyen

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is officially dead for 2020. Days after announcing the race would be postponed from its 17–18 April date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach revealed their hunt for an alternative date failed to bear fruit, forcing them to terminate the race for the 2020 motorsports season. The final cancellation affects the IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, along with support series like the Stadium Super Trucks.

“Over the past few days, we have actively pursued the possibility of rescheduling the Acura Grand Prix to a later date this year with the City of Long Beach, the Convention Center, the NTT IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and our other race sanctioning bodies,” association president Jim Michaelian stated. “We are very disappointed that we were unable to put something together for all our loyal fans and valued clients, but trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020. As a result, our attention will now be focused on planning the 46th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16-18, 2021.”

A staple of the open-wheel racing calendar since 1975, the race came under IndyCar sanction following its merger with Champ Car in 2008. IMSA has raced at Long Beach since 2014, while the Stadium Super Trucks have competed on the streets since their inaugural season in 2013. Although Honda Indy Toronto was also on that year’s slate, Long Beach is the longest continuously-running event on the SST schedule, meaning the cancellation will end a seven-year streak for the trucks.

The pandemic has forced numerous series worldwide to make sweeping changes to their schedules; the start of the IndyCar season has already been delayed after the opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was postponed, while IMSA’s 12 Hours of Sebring has also fallen victim. For SST, their Australian counterpart Boost Mobile Super Trucks saw their next three race weekends at Symmons Plains Raceway, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, and Wanneroo Raceway indefinitely postponed, though they intend to race at the circuits once new dates are finalised.

SST driver Bill Hynes echoed the series’ disappointment to the schedule changes on Twitter, but noted a “bright side”: “From June to December you will see non stop SST racing with us just bombing the jumps with reckless abandon. First race back will be fun.”

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