The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced on Tuesday that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Acura to become title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Long Beach starting in 2019.
The 45th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 12-14, 2019.
Launched in 1986 as the first Japanese luxury automotive brand, Acura is a leading nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. Both Acura and its American Honda parent have their U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.
Last year, Acura made a successful return to the top level of sports car racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, fielding two entries in the Prototype class with Team Penske. The driver combinations of Juan Pablo Montoya/Dane Cameron and Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor finished fifth and seventh overall in the championship, with Montoya recording the first pole for the new Acura ARX-05 at Long Beach. Acura also continues to have entries in the series’ GTD class with the NSX GT3 Evo, and has accomplishments at all levels of sports car racing.
Honda has a long, winning history with Indy cars at Long Beach. Honda-powered drivers have won six of the last 10 Grands Prix – and 13 times in 19 appearances – including last year with Alexander Rossi. Native 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).
“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.”
“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 45thyear 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.”
Featuring a wide variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series, as well as the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will feature the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights, Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks, the powerful sports cars of the Pirelli GT4 America series and the Historic IMSA GTO Challenge.