Acura has reached a multi-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Long Beach starting in April, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today.
As RACER previously reported, with Toyota bowing out after a 35-year run, Acura takes over sponsorship of North America’s longest-standing and most successful street race. The U.S. headquarters for both Acura and its American Honda parent is located just north of the city in Torrance, California.
“With our U.S. headquarters nearby in Torrance, this is a true ‘home’ event for the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager. “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.”
Honda has a successful history at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, which started in 1975 with Formula 5000, moved to Formula 1 from 1976-1983 and has been an IndyCar race ever since.
Honda-powered drivers have won six of the last 10 grands prix – and 13 times in 19 appearances – including Alexander Rossi’s win in 2018. Californian Jimmy Vasser scored Honda’s first Long Beach victory in 1996, with other Honda-powered winners including Alex Zanardi (1997-98), Michael Andretti (2002), Dario Franchitti (2009), Takuma Sato (2013) and James Hinchcliffe (2017).
American Honda was considered a natural replacement as title sponsor, since it powers more than half the IndyCar field in addition to Acura’s involvement in IMSA, which shares the bill with IndyCar every April at Long Beach. Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya scored the first pole for the new Acura ARX-05 at Long Beach last year.
“This is truly the start of a new era in the history of the Grand Prix,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “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.”
Honda is also the title sponsor at IndyCar events at Barber, Toronto and Mid-Ohio.
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series and will feature the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix and the Pirelli GT4 America series. On-track action also includes the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights, Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks, and the Historic IMSA GTO Challenge.
Fans can select and pay for their Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach tickets, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com, or place orders by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333. A printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information is also available.
Fans can also follow the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @GPLongBeach and Instagram at GPLongBeach.