Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach To Begin

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
September 24, 2021 Updated: September 24, 2021

LONG BEACH, Calif.—The three-day 46th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach began Sept. 24 with qualifying for the IMSA and Historic Formula Atlantic races and the start of the drifting competition.

Practice sessions are held Friday for the IndyCar and super trucks races and the global attack competition on the 1.97-mile, 11-turn street circuit surrounding the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

A practice session for Sunday’s featured IndyCar race will be held from 3–3:45 p.m. An autograph session for IndyCar drivers will be held from 4:30–5:30 p.m. in the paddock area.

A practice session for the IMSA sports car race will be held from 1:20–2:35 p.m. Qualifying will be held from 4:45-5:55 p.m.

The Global Time Attack competition and Historic Formula Atlantic race are being held for the first time at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Qualifying from the Historic Formula Atlantic open-wheel race will be held from 4–4:20 p.m. The expected field of classic race cars will feature those driven by the likes of Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, Willy T. Ribbs, Keke Rosberg, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser Jr., Jimmy Vasser, Gilles Villeneuve, and his son Jacques Villeneuve.

Practice for the Global Time Attack will be held from 12:35–1 p.m.

The competition will be held Saturday and Sunday with drivers of cars in three classes attempting to set the fastest “flying lap.” In a “flying lap” a driver starts the lap at optimum speed instead of a standing start.

The initial part of the drifting competition will be held from 6:45–8:15 p.m. In drifting, drivers intentionally maneuver their cars into controlled sideways slides at high speeds through a marked course, with a judging panel determining the winner based on execution and style.

The final portion will be held from 6–7:30 p.m. Saturday.

A practice session for the super trucks race will be held from 11:10–11:30 a.m.

Saturday’s schedule features qualifying for the IndyCar race and a concert by Vince Neil, the lead vocalist of heavy metal band Motley Crue.

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required to enter, and masking for all individuals is required.

Children ages 2-11, who are not eligible for vaccines, will also require a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours before Friday. Children 12 and older can show either a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

Rapid coronavirus testing will be provided at all major entryways to the race circuit.

The Acura Grand Prix is customarily held in April but moved to September because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is the final race of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series. The Acura Grand Prix will return to its usual April date in 2022.

The pandemic prompted cancellation of the 2020 race.