Historic GP cars return to Long Beach

Race to Feature Historically Accurate Formula 5000, Formula One and Champ Cars That Ran on the Famed Seaside Circuit from 1975-90 LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2004) - Sunday morning at the 30th Anniversary Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach...

Race to Feature Historically Accurate Formula 5000, Formula One and Champ Cars That Ran on the Famed Seaside Circuit from 1975-90

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2004) - Sunday morning at the 30th Anniversary Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will come alive with the sounds of 30 classic Formula 5000, Formula One and early Champ Cars during the Long Beach Historic Grand Prix on April 18.

The race will be a celebration of the history and heritage of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; each of the 30 cars in the expected starting grid raced on the famed seaside racetrack in the past. Last year, the vintage Formula One cars made their debut at Long Beach - the first time in 20 years that Formula One cars had roared through downtown Long Beach - and were a hit with race goers.

"This year's event is a natural expansion of last year's effort," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "The historic Formula One cars were so well-received by our fans that we knew we wanted to bring them back. With the celebration of our 30th anniversary, we felt that we should recognize all three eras of Long Beach racing through the Historic Grand Prix."

The 2004 Long Beach Historic Grand Prix will feature Long Beach race- winning cars like the Boraxo Lola T332 driven by Brian Redman that won the inaugural Formula 5000 Long Beach Grand Prix in 1975; the 1980 Long Beach- winning Saudia Air Williams FW07B driven by Alan Jones, and 1988 race winner Al Unser Jr.'s Valvoline March 88C. Other classic cars expected to be in the field include Mario Andretti's World Championship winning 1978 #5 John Player Lotus 79 entry, Gilles Villeneuve's #2 Ferrari 312T5 from 1980, Niki Lauda's #11 Ferrari 312T2 from 1977 and Danny Sullivan's 1990 #7 Penske PC19.

Every Historic Grand Prix car will be on display for Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach patrons in the Automobile Club of Southern California Lifestyle Expo - free to all race ticket holders -- located inside the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Each car will have its own color storyboard containing information about the car, including original driver, races won and photos of the car in action. There will also be a photo display in the Expo featuring images of these classic cars competing at Long Beach in the event's early and middle years. The Expo will also be the site of a special autograph session with several classic drivers from Long Beach's past.

"This event will be one of the most exciting aspects of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend," added Michaelian. "This will be a great opportunity for some to revisit the sights and sounds of these beautiful cars in action. For others it will be a chance to experience those great moments for the first time."

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach schedule has the Historic Grand Prix cars practicing on-track Friday afternoon, April 16; qualifying on Saturday afternoon, April 17, and running their race Sunday morning, April 18, at 9:45 a.m.

Ticket prices for the three-day Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach range from $40 for a Sunday-only general admission ticket to $110 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating in upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are available and can be purchased when ordering tickets through the Grand Prix ticket office.

Tickets for the 2004 event can be placed by calling the ticket hotline toll- free at (888) 82-SPEED or logging on to www.longbeachgp.com. Copies of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ticket brochure can also be obtained by calling the ticket hotline. The ticket brochure includes a circuit map with grandstand and parking locations as well as ticket prices and a ticket order form.

Handicapped seating, Bosch Champ Car Garage passes, super photo tickets and hospitality club packages are also available.

For updated Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ticket information, news or announcements of special race week activities, visit www.longbeachgp.com.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is owned and operated by Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD). Dover Motorsports, Inc. is a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States. Its subsidiaries operate seven tracks (four permanent facilities and three temporary circuits) in six states and promote events under the auspices of the sport's four premier sanctioning bodies - NASCAR, CART, IRL and NHRA. The company owns and operates Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.; Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, Tenn.; Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Mo.; and Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn. It also organizes and promotes the CENTRIX Grand Prix of Denver, Colo.

-TGPLB-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series VINTAGE