Long Beach adds DP race to 2006 weekend

2006 TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH TO FEATURE GRAND AMERICAN ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES IN 'SUPER SATURDAY' OF RACING LONG BEACH, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2005) - A "Super Saturday" of racing is on tap at the 2006 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, as one...

2006 TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH TO FEATURE GRAND AMERICAN ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES IN 'SUPER SATURDAY' OF RACING

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2005) - A "Super Saturday" of racing is on tap at the 2006 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, as one of the most competitive categories in North American sports car racing will bring a round of its title fight to North America's premier street race.

Officials from the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and Grand American Road Racing Association today announced that the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototypes will be a part of the April 7-9 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 8, more than two dozen Daytona Prototypes will roar down Shoreline Drive and take the green flag, topping off a spectacular day of on-track activity at the famed seaside circuit. The action-packed day will also feature final qualifying for Sunday's Champ Car World Series main event, as well as Champ Car Atlantic Championship qualifying and the 30th Anniversary running of the world-famous Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

"The addition of the Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes to the Long Beach race weekend will be something special," said Jim Michaelian, CEO of the GPALB. "Not only will this be the first time that the prototype sports cars have competed here but the sights and sounds of those exotic machines on the Long Beach streets should be exhilarating. This is just another way in which we continue to add value and entertainment for our fans."

The Rolex Series Daytona Prototype race will utilize a unique format, as the 90-minute "sprint race" will require all teams to make at least one pit stop and change drivers. Practice and qualifying for the Daytona Prototypes will be held on Friday, April 7, and SPEED Channel will televise the historic Daytona Prototype race at Long Beach live or on a brief same-day tape delay.

"This is a monumental day in the history of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series," Grand American President Roger Edmondson said. "The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of road racing's crown jewels, and the importance of having the Rolex Series participate on that weekend cannot be understated to all of our stakeholders. While many series have one signature event, the addition of Long Beach to a schedule that also includes the Rolex 24 At Daytona gives the Rolex Series a pair of marquee races."

"We are very pleased to add the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series to the legacy of great racing at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "Long Beach fans have always supported sports cars as well as Champ Cars and we look forward to having Grand American join us for an action-packed weekend as we build on the tradition of America's Greatest Street Race."

Renowned for their ability to race wheel-to-wheel and produce breathtaking action from flag-to-flag, the exotic, mid-engine Daytona Prototypes will almost certainly reach their top speed of 185 mph at the end of both the Shoreline Drive and Seaside Way straightaways. While Long Beach has seen various forms of GT and Trans-Am race cars over the years, the inaugural Daytona Prototype race in 2006 will be the first time in the 32-year history of the event that prototype sports cars will compete as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.

Grand Prix tickets 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 as well as Ticketmaster retail Ticket Center locations throughout Southern California, including all Tower Records, Robinsons-May, Ritmo Latino, Wherehouse Music, and select FYE stores.

Ticket prices for the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 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 will also be available.

-TGPLB-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jim Michaelian , Steve Johnson