The grid is set, winners have been to Victory Circle and fans continued to pour into the facility.
Kyle Kirkwood is on the pole for Sunday’s featured NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. The debut of the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race ended with a thrilling finish. The SPEED/UTV Stadium Super Trucks banged and jumped; the Porsche Carrera Cup cars raced; Super Drift thrilled and Historic F1 cars brought some of the event’s past back to the present, loud and clear.
Saturday was another full day at the 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, a 200 mph beach party on a glorious and sunny Southern California day.
There was certainly plenty to see. And hear.
The Grand Prix is known as the “Roar By The Shore” and for good reason. Each of the six racing series provides different ranges of engine noises – the high pitch of the vintage F1 cars, the deep-throated sounds of IMSA, the whirring power of the Indy cars, for instance – and DJs blast music from all over the facility, including from some sponsor tents selling refreshments that are synonymous with this grand event.
From the Lifestyle Expo to “Main Street” outside the Long Beach Arena, to the grandstands, to the huge area by the marina and all along the promenade, fans basked in the atmosphere that has earned this event the title of “Monaco of the West.”
Those with a paddock pass got an unexpected bonus when Mario Andretti popped out of the Andretti Autosport trailer. Not only did they get up close to the racing legend and four-time Long Beach winner, but some got his autograph.
All-star rock band Kings Of Chaos provided the final soundtrack of the day during the free Saturday night concert, along with the Super Drift Challenge which held its final competition at night.
On Sunday, the gates open at 7:30 a.m., the INDYCAR morning warmup taking place at 9 a.m.; the pageantry of pre-race ceremonies – which includes Anaheim Ducks star forward Adam Henrique as Grand Marshal, CW star Grant Gustin of “The Flash,” the National Anthem performed by Tim Kepler of the Ducks and LA Angels, an F/A-18 fighter jet flyover, and Golden Knights parachute team starts at 11:48 a.m., with the green flag at 12:45 p.m. The day wraps up with the Stadium Super Trucks racing at 3:30 p.m. with the Porsche Carrera Cup at 4:20 p.m.