Two past Grand Prix of Long Beach winners, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on Thursday, April 13, 2023, ahead of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach taking place April 14 through 16.
“We’re thrilled to welcome back past Grand Prix winners, James and Ryan, and congratulate them on their well-deserved induction into the Motorsports Walk of Fame,” said Mayor Rex Richardson.
Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay will be inducted during a free, open-to-the-public ceremony at 11 a.m. in front of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center on South Pine Avenue. During the ceremony, each will unveil a 22-inch bronze medallion featuring renditions of their iconic cars and descriptions of their major achievements, permanently enshrining their contributions to motorsports on the Walk of Fame.
“It is an honor to welcome these two racing icons and past Grand Prix winners into the Motorsports Walk of Fame,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “Located in our scenic downtown-shoreline area, their medallions will be seen by racing fans from all over the world for many years to come.”
“James and Ryan have both had exceptional careers in auto racing and it is a privilege to present them with this prestigious honor,” said Vice Mayor Cindy Allen. “I congratulate them on all of their incredible achievements.”
Toronto-born Hinchcliffe won the Grand Prix in 2017 and finished third in 2012. He was the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year in 2011 and got his first Indy Lights win at Long Beach in 2010. He is now an INDYCAR commentator for NBC.
“I thought Jim had the wrong email!” the always entertaining Hinchcliffe said about being notified by Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian. “Seriously, it’s such a huge honor. This race is one of my favorites, if not the favorite, on the calendar and has been for a long, long time. That email was one of the best things I could have gotten; the list of the people on it are some of my heroes. It’s a huge, huge honor. Winning Long Beach in 2017 was a really special moment.”
Hunter-Reay, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., took the Long Beach checkered flag in 2010, and later won the 2012 INDYCAR championship and the 2014 Indianapolis 500 during an outstanding Indy car career that spanned 19 seasons and included 18 wins and 72 top-5 finishes.
“The Grand Prix of Long Beach has essentially been a cornerstone of my racing career,” said Hunter-Reay. “What an honor it is to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. This circuit has always been one that suited me naturally. The best all-around street course in the world, no doubt. My wife, Beccy, and I got engaged during the 2009 race weekend. The highlight on track was dedicating my 2010 win to my Mom, Lydia, who lost her battle with cancer late 2009 and Long Beach was her favorite race of the season.”
“We are very honored to be able to induct James and Ryan into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame,” said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian. “They are two very accomplished drivers who have represented motorsports at the highest level. They certainly deserve this special recognition.”
After the ceremony, Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay will sign autographs for those in attendance. For more information, visit lbmotorsportswof.com.
The Walk of Fame is a joint project of the City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and new members are added every year during Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach week.
The Walk of Fame was created in 2006 to honor key contributors to the sport of auto racing. It is located in front of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment building across from the Pike At Rainbow Harbor entertainment complex on South Pine Avenue. The first inductees were Dan Gurney and Phil Hill, who contributed mightily to the success of the early days of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The induction ceremony kicks off the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend which brought more than 188,000 people to Downtown Long Beach in 2022. For more information, visit gplb.com, call 888.827.7333, or follow the race on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @GPLongBeach (#AGPLB), Instagram @GPLongBeach and YouTube @GPLongBeach.
About the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach
The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach owns and operates the annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach INDYCAR race, which attracts more than 180,000 attendees over its three-day weekend. The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach also owns GPALB Special Events, offering high-quality structures, bleacher rentals, event operation management and design. For more information, visit gplb.com.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services, Public Works and more. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, 12 libraries, five golf courses, 169 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths and a Bike Share program.
For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov. Watch us on LBTV. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.