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Long Beach adds GT race to April event

RECORD SIXTH RACE ADDED TO SCHEDULE FOR 32nd ANNUAL TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 20, 2005) -- Race fans attending the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9, 2006, will be witnessing a "first." An ...

RECORD SIXTH RACE ADDED TO SCHEDULE FOR 32nd ANNUAL TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 20, 2005) -- Race fans attending the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9, 2006, will be witnessing a "first."

An event-record SIX racing series will be scorching the pavement of America's favorite street course thanks to the addition of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Championship, which opens its 10-race season with races in Sebring and St. Petersburg, Fla. before journeying to Long Beach.

The SPEED GT joins another new race on the Long Beach schedule - the Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes - as well as the Champ Car World Series, 30th Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Drifting and the Imperial Capital Bank Champ Car Atlantic race.

"We're delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the always-exciting SPEED World Challenge GT at Long Beach," said Jim Michaelian, CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "The wide variety of cars and close competition will create tremendous interest for our fans and also provide us with a great concluding race on Sunday."

"We're very excited to add the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to our 2006 SCCA SPEED World Challenge schedule," SCCA Pro Racing Acting President Garret Mudd said. "Southern California is a huge market for our brand of racing, which has proven to be the most popular and relevant form of production-based racing in North America."

More than 20 race-prepped marques are eligible for competition in the SPEED GT, including Aston Martin, Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Ferrari, Ford GT and Mustang, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru and Volvo, among others. Series drivers are a who's who of sprint and endurance format sports car racers, including at least two former winners on the Long Beach circuit in the Trans-Am Series.

Andy Pilgrim, driving the #8 XM/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose/On Star Cadillac CTS-V, won the 2005 SPEED GT championship by six points over 2004 titleholder Tommy Archer (Dodge Viper).

Pilgrim started the season with five straight Top-5s, and went on to become only the second driver since the series' inception in 1990 to win the title without winning a race. Cadillac added the series' Manufacturers Championship.

The 50-minute SPEED GT race follows the Champ Car race on Sunday, April 9, and will conclude on-track activities at the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Tickets for the Grand Prix 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 will also be available.

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Jim Michaelian