April 11th marks the first day of the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which runs through the Sunday the 13th and draws over 170,000 spectators. It also marks the 25thanniversary year for “Racing for Kids,” as the main charity, which raises money for children’s hospitals throughout the United States.
Bronze medal-winning paralympic snowboarder and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Amy Purdy will bring her competitive spirit to the Pro/Celebrity Race on April 12th, as Grand Marshal of the long-running, prestigious, charitable event. Purdy will be joined by R&B singer and Grammy-nominated musician Brian McKnight, who will open the race by performing the national anthem.
The featured race is Sunday afternoon’s Verizon IndyCar Series event, which features an international field of world-class drivers expected to include: defending Series champion Scott Dixon; defending Long Beach winner Takuma Sato; Long Beach winners Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves and Sebastien Bourdais, along with Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti. Series will have cars with turbocharged engines supplied by Honda and Chevrolet.
Other races taking place:
Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge: The popular Formula DRIFT invitational
competition, taking place Friday and Saturday nights, made its debut last year to huge crowds!
Expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers, including 2013 series champ Michael
Essa, Vaughn Gittin, Frederic Aasbo, Chris Forsberg, Daigo Saito and defending race champ Matt
Powers. Practice and qualifying runs will take place on Friday night, and the competition rounds will
run Saturday night.
SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Race: On Sunday, the 600-horsepower V-8 engine
off-road trucks run in a 20-minute race utilizing several jump ramps around the course.
Tequila Patrón Sports Car Racing Showcase: Features the most technically advanced
sports cars in competition in the newly unified TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Practice and
qualifying will be held on Fri., April 11, and the race will run Sat. afternoon, April 12.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires: Young drivers tackle the Long Beach race
circuit in this exciting preview of open-wheel racing’s future stars. Race will take place Sun., April
13 prior to the IndyCar race.
Pirelli World Challenge Championships: Three classes (GT, GT-A and GTS) of sports
cars from famous marques like Audi, Cadillac, Corvette, Dodge Viper, Ford Mustang, McLaren,
Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Porsche battle fender-to-fender on Sun., April 13 after the IndyCar race.
For more info on the Grand Prix: http://www.gplb.com