Today Acura became the official title sponsor of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Indycar’s second longest running event behind the Indianapolis 500. The Honda brand replaces Toyota, which had sponsored the race for 44 years. Toyota’s tenure was the longest event entitlement in history. The race will be called the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Racing in Long Beach began with a Formula 5000 race in 1975. From 1976-1983 Formula 1 took to the streets. Beginning in 1984, CART began racing. The event has been an Indycar race since then.
Per Adam Stern, this is a multi year deal in the low seven figures annually. It is Acura’s single largest motorsports marketing expenditure
The Honda name serves as sponsor of races at barber Motorsports Park, Toronto, and Mid Ohio.
Iowa is the only race which had a title sponsor last year still seeking a replacement. The Indycar Grand Prix at IMS lost its sponsor two years ago and has not yet found a new one.
The full press release below. I will return tomorrow with thoughts on today’s Indy 500 qualifying schedule release and a few other tidbits.
Acura Announced as Title Sponsor!
The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Acura to become title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Long Beach starting in 2019.
The 45th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 12-14, 2019.
Launched in 1986 as the first Japanese luxury automotive brand, Acura is a leading nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. Both Acura and its American Honda parent have their U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.
Last year, Acura made a successful return to the top level of sports car racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, fielding two entries in the Prototype class with Team Penske. The driver combinations of Juan Pablo Montoya/Dane Cameron and Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor finished fifth and seventh overall in the championship, with Montoya recording the first pole for the new Acura ARX-05 at Long Beach. Acura also continues to have entries in the series’ GTD class with the NSX GT3 Evo, and has accomplishments at all levels of sports car racing.
Honda has a long, winning history with Indy cars at Long Beach. Honda-powered drivers have won six of the last 10 Grands Prix – and 13 times in 19 appearances – including last year with Alexander Rossi. Native Californian Jimmy Vasser scored Honda’s first Long Beach victory in 1996, with other Honda-powered winners including Alex Zanardi (1997-98), Michael Andretti (2002), Dario Franchitti (2009), Takuma Sato (2013) and James Hinchcliffe (2017).
“With our U.S. headquarters nearby in Torrance, this is a true ‘home’ event for the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager. “The Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of North America’s premier motorsports events, and an institution in Southern California. Acura is delighted and proud to be associated with the Grand Prix of Long Beach, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
“This is truly the start of a new era in the history of the Grand Prix,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “As we enter our 45th year of conducting America’s #1 street race, we are looking forward with great enthusiasm to this new partnership with a premium luxury brand like Acura. Together we will explore new ways to elevate the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach to greater heights in the coming years.”
Featuring a wide variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series, as well as the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will feature the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights, Robby Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks, the powerful sports cars of the Pirelli GT4 America series and the Historic IMSA GTO Challenge.
Fans can select and pay for their Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach tickets, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com, or place orders by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333. A printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information is also available.
Fans can also follow the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @GPLongBeach and Instagram at GPLongBeach.
Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the five-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV, and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar.
Five of the six models in the Acura lineup are made in central Ohio, using domestic and globally-sourced parts, including the ILX and TLX luxury sports sedans (Marysville Auto Plant), the RDX and MDX luxury SUVs (East Liberty Auto Plant) and the Acura NSX supercar, which is built to order at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.
Additional media information including pricing, features & specifications and high-resolution photography is available at AcuraNews.com. Consumer information is available at Acura.com. Follow Acura on social media at Acura.us/SocialChannels.