When the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach takes over the streets for racing this coming Friday through Sunday (April 12–14), it won’t be just for the highly modern and new NTT IndyCar Series cars.
Long Beach celebrates history and the incredible vintage cars of the past as well.
Historic Motor Sports Association President Cris Vandagriff said he’s honored that HMSA will be the sanctioning body and organizer of the Historic IMSA GTO Challenge in Long Beach. The cars will all be period correct race cars from 1980 through 1991 – helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of IMSA – and will practice and qualify on Friday, April 12 before taking the green flag for the race at 5 p.m. on April 13.
“It is going to be exciting to see and hear those historic IMSA GTO cars back on the streets of Long Beach again,” Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO, Jim Michaelian said. “And it is especially appropriate to have them here again in conjunction with the celebration of IMSA’s 50th anniversary in 2019.”
HMSA races in some incredible places in North America, but nothing beats the crowd at Long Beach each April.
“There are so many people at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, it’s just nuts,” Vandagriff said. “This is the ninth time that we have run a support race at the Grand Prix and it’s something we look forward to each year. We get to bring a piece of history with us each year and it’s a big honor to be part of the event each year.”
1991 Long Beach IMSA race winner Steve Millen won with the #75 Nissan 300ZX in 1991 and his car is scheduled to race.
“When the celebrity race ended, I was asked to bring a group to fill the slot,” Vandagriff said. “And we’ve been participating as a support group ever since with some of the best cars of the vintage racing world. It’s incredible to honor the past at such a massive event. I love working with the Grand Prix. They make a big deal about the history and what we are showcasing each year and we do everything it takes to bring out the best cars for the fans.”