Due to increasing cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has been rescheduled to 26 September from its original 18 April date.
This new date will also make Long Beach the season finale, creating a three race-swing on the west coast of the US, starting at Portland International Raceway on 12 September, followed by WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on 19 September, before finishing the season at Long Beach, if the current schedule withstands other potential changes.
This will be the first September race weekend in the events history, which spans 36 races dating back to 1975, the second longest running event in series history behind the Indianapolis 500.
Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles stated how important it was to keep the iconic event on the calendar this year after missing out in 2020.
“It is important to have Long Beach rescheduled to continue the history and tradition for one of the series’ hallmark events in one of the nation’s premier media markets,” Miles said.
“Further, it’s a tremendous opportunity to wrap up the season with three-straight iconic venues for what we believe will be our most exciting season yet.”
Miles also reinforced that this schedule is not final, as the ever-present virus could change things at a moment’s notice.
“As we did during the 2020 season, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and maintain flexibility across our schedule. We are committed to an action-packed and exhilarating 2021 NTT IndyCar Series.”
Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian hopes that this fall date will allow fans to be at the track, as vaccines for COVID-19 begin emergency distribution in the United States.
“We believe that this move will afford us the best opportunity to provide our guests with a fun and exciting experience in a safe and unrestricted environment,” Michaelian said.
“It will be a welcome sight to see the NTT IndyCar Series cars and stars back on the downtown streets of Long Beach in the fall.”
An updated list of green flag times for the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season will be posted at a later date.