CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach Turn 1 to be wider, faster

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH TURN ONE BEING MADE WIDER AND FASTER FOR 2006 AND BEYOND LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- Historically, the Shoreline Drive straightaway at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has been one of the fastest ...

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH TURN ONE BEING MADE WIDER AND FASTER FOR 2006 AND BEYOND

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- Historically, the Shoreline Drive straightaway at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has been one of the fastest stretches of any street circuit in motorsports, with Champ Car drivers pushing 190 mph heading toward Turn One.

Today, because of necessary course revisions in bustling downtown Long Beach, Turn One is a tight left-hander. However, the days of hair-raising traffic jams in the turn may be over.

Beginning in the middle of next week, Turn One will be widened by twelve feet, resulting in an approximately 50-foot-wide track extending for 250 feet toward Turn 2. This will now afford drivers more passing options as they gear down from the 3,600-foot-long Shoreline Drive straight and set up to wind around the western end of the 1.97-mile circuit.

"The widening of Turn One will allow for more passing, closer competition and a better show for our fans," said Jim Michaelian, CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "Credit our owners, Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, for recognizing the situation and providing the financial resources to fix it."

"It was a simple decision, really," Kalkhoven said. "The circuit was just too tight and we're improving it to maintain Long Beach's status as the premier street race in America. It will not only make for better racing this year, but will provide much more excitement when standing starts are adopted for the Champ Car World Series in the future."

Drivers in a record six racing series will put the new Turn One alignment to the test April 7-9 in the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Along with Champ Cars, Atlantics and the 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, the Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes and SCCA SPEED GT Championship will be making their debuts on the famed seaside circuit. The fan-favorite Drifting Challenge is also on the race card for the event.

Tickets for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach can be purchased from the Grand Prix ticket office by calling the toll-free ticket hotline at (888) 82-SPEED. A handy ticket brochure - which includes circuit map, grandstand and parking locations, ticket prices and order form - can be obtained by calling the ticket hotline. Tickets are also available online at longbeachgp.com or ticketmaster.com.

Ticket prices range from $35 for Friday/Saturday general admission up to $115 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seats in upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are also available when ordering through the Grand Prix Ticket Office. Handicapped seating, Bosch Champ Car Garage passes, super photo tickets and a variety of hospitality club packages are also available.

-tgplb

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About this article
Series Atlantic , Grand-Am , IndyCar , PWC
Drivers Gerald Forsythe , Jim Michaelian , Kevin Kalkhoven