Long Beach Grand Prix Tickets
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Long Beach Grand Prix
Once the premier circuit in the Champ Car World Series, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is now an open-wheel race held on a temporary road course in Long Beach, California.
The Long Beach Grand Prix was the first event in the World Series held each year. The 2008 race was the last race for Champ Cars as the series is incorporated into the Indy Racing League.
Having completed its 34th event, the Long Beach Grand Prix has also become the longest running major ?street' race held on the North American continent. Attendance for the weekend regularly exceeds 200,000 people.
It is the single largest event in the city of Long Beach in the month of April. The event started in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race on the streets of downtown, and became a Formula One event the next year.
Since 1984 the race has been a CART/Champ Car event. Other thoroughly enjoyed events during the Grand Prix week have encompassed a Champ Car Atlantic series race, a Historic Grand Prix featuring pre-1990 cars, and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. The Long Beach Grand Prix has been regarded frequently as fans' favorite.
When March 26th 1977 Morning dawned; the city of Long Beach got it's a brand new recognition. An auto racing fan-turned-travel-agent, Chris Pook, was about to put the city on the international sports map.
Barely 18 months earlier, Pook had beaten all the odds and offered little hope by staging the first Long Beach Grand Prix. This Formula 5000 race was won by Brian Redman and attracted over 46,000 race fans and curiosity seekers.
The current race circuit is a 1.968-mile temporary road course, situated on the Long Beach waterfront. It is lined with palm trees making a scenic track. Although the Champ Car World Series is the major event, a number of other races are also included.
In April 2006, the Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes took to the streets, replacing the suspended Trans-Am Series. Other races and events are the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and the popular Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race as well as fairs, music, and promotional activities.
American names have got prominence in the streets of Long Beach ever since, winning 13 of 21 races. Al Unser Jr. was the winner here six times, including a remarkable four straight from 1988-91.
Mario Andretti visited Victory Circle four times and his son, Michael, is a two-time victor. Still, the series has always successfully managed to retain a little of its original international flavor.
Italy's Alex Zanardi, one of the race's biggest fan favorites, won back to back in 1997-98. In 1999, Colombia's Juan Montoya became the first rookie to win the race before joining the F/One wars.
Brazil's Helio Castroneves surprised the race lovers when led an all-Brazil 1-2-3 finish in 2001. Canada's Paul Tracy is a four-time winner whereas France's Sebastien Bourdais has won the last three Long Beach races.
In June 2005, Kalkhoven and Forsythe purchased the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. However they ensured that Champ Cars would remain the main event on the famed seaside circuit.
Three Champ Car owners Paul Gentilozzi, Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Fosythe would enter their fifth year as owners and operators of the forth coming Champ Car World Series 2008.
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