The streets of Downtown Long Beach were turned into a motor speedway over the weekend for the 48th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. At nearly 200 miles an hour, the forceful power of cars and trucks featured in the weekend races attracted over 100,000 fans to the “200-MPH Beach Party.”
The droning noise of high-speed motors was heard throughout the city from April 14 through April 16. The three-day event highlighted six different races including round 3 of the NTT IndyCar Series. Spectator gates opened at the early hours of 7:30 AM each day and races ran until the late evening.
The Grand Prix brought fans from all over the world to Long Beach, while some locals spent their time in the apartments and hotel rooms high above the track, eyeing the races happening below them.
The first day of track action began with multiple practice runs for all participants and classes within the race.
A hub for foot traffic was the Lifestyle Expo housed in the Convention Center. Fans were presented with a variety of displays from over 100 companies and organizations regarding motorsport, food and even botox services.
The Stadium Super Trucks (SST), The Porsche Carrera Cup (PCC), International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Weathertech SportsCar Championship, Historic F1 Racing and the NTT IndyCar Series all raced their way through the city streets in Long Beach. Champions versus rookies, SUPER Trucks and Historic Formula 1 cars, fans walking into Day Two would witness them all.
Saturday marked the start of the first races for SST and IndyCar as well as the IMSA SportsCar Grand Prix.
Racing trucks soared through the air off of ramps, hitting corners on three wheels rather than the traditional four. Each race was a half hour of high speed turns and intense jumps.
The IndyCar race had fans on edge as the final results came closer and closer to a pole winner.
Debatably, this was the most important group of races over the course of the entire weekend especially since the qualifier came down to the Fast Six.
The Porsche Carrera Cup revealed the true power of sports luxury vehicles. Skilled drivers raced identical road-based Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Cars against each other as part of the eight-part series in 2023. Race #1 on Saturday set the scene for what was to come on Sunday.
The third and final day of the Grand Prix had everyone focused on the last race of the NTT IndyCar Series in Long Beach.
Tensions rose throughout the day in anticipation for the race that was set to start at 12:05 in the afternoon.
The paddocks stayed busy, with pit crews hustling and pulling its cars to the pits along the side of the track, gearing them up for the main event.
When the moment finally came, fans began to cheer for their favorite racers and were in awe at the sound of the cars as they sped by in a blur.
After 85 laps around Downtown Long Beach, 24-year old Kyle Kirkwood earned his first IndyCar win in his career.
Emotional and proud, Kirkwood and his team celebrated accordingly with champagne and confetti to fill the winner’s circle.