Construction begins on Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit

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Construction has begun on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit in California, in preparation for the April 7-9, 2017, race weekend. The first of more than 2,400 concrete blocks that anchor the safety system around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn racing circuit have been placed, and construction crews are beginning to build the 14 huge grandstands that line the race course.

Featuring a wide variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Grand Prix will be headlined by the second round of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series, as well as the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and its all-new prototype cars.

In addition, the weekend will include the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights; SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks; the powerful sports cars of the Pirelli World Challenge; and the new-for-2017 Can-Am Challenge. There will also be concerts (free to race ticket holders), on Friday and Saturday nights.

“The start of our track construction really signals that spring is right around the corner,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “This year’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is going to be bigger, better and faster than ever before. We’ve got a great line-up of activities that should provide our fans non-stop action from Friday morning right through to the close on Sunday afternoon.”

In total, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach director of operations Dwight Tanaka and his staff will put in more than 33,000 working hours installing the safety system – more than 14,000,000 lb of concrete blocks, 4 miles of fencing, and 17,000 bolted-together tires – grandstands, six pedestrian bridges and seven giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage. More than 180,000 fans are expected during race weekend. The eastern portion of the racetrack (Turns 9, 10 and 11) will also be used for the traditional first race of the 2017 season for Formula Drift on March 31-April 1.

February 8, 2017

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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