The official name is the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Well, that’s not totally accurate because now it’s the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. The automaker has signed on to grab the title spot on North America’s longest running big time street race. Toyota held the reigns for nearly four decades before bowing out, as it also bowed out of the state of California. Honda and Acura are still here though, and Acura is stepping up to the motorsport plate.
It’s a move that makes good sense, considering Honda’s affiliation with IndyCar and Acura with IMSA. Both run at Long Beach, with IndyCar returning on April 14th and IMSA the day before.
Now it’s time to reinstate the Pro/Celebrity Race. Toyota ran this fundraiser race since 1977 until the final event in 2016. It pits pro drivers and celebrities against one another on the 1.968 street circuit. Toyota provided Celicas, then Scion tCs, and eventually the FR-S for the race. Honda could jump in with the Civic Si or even simple Civic Sports.
Even if that doesn’t make a return, it’s great to see an automaker with a large Southern California presence taking control of something in its own backyard. With Honda and Acura’s motorsport history, and the long-running history of the Long Beach Grand Prix, this looks to be a strong match.