41st Annual Grand Prix Weekend


   Contributed by GPLB

Photo by Bill Patterson

          The Grand Prix is scheduled to take place this weekend and there is room for everybody! The experience for visitors includes local restaurants, concerts, a Lifestyle Expo, a Family Fun Zone and so much more.

          The Grand Prix  also announced that Bill Patterson is their selected artist who is also the official artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. He performs ‘live art’ globally and is commissioned by an array of private clients such as Mazda, Microsoft, and FedEx. His masterpieces range from the race track to music, film and television; including sculptures, web design, original logos, custom etched wine bottles and premium clothing collection.

           Concerts are also scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday night by a popular Latino band and rock star Vince Neal of Morley Crue.

         The infamous races began when an auto racing fan-turned-travel-agent — Chris Pook — was about to put the city on the international sports map and spark a business, travel and financial renaissance that continues today.

         He got it. With some help from a tough, diminutive Italian-American from Nazareth, PA. Mario Andretti avoided a first-lap, multi-car collision, then went on to outduel F/One stars Jody Scheckter and Niki Lauda to become the first American to win a F/One race in a U.S. Grand Prix.

         “Mario’s victory really changed the whole image of the race,” says Jim Michaelian, now the President and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and the race’s financial officer in 1978. “We made the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and the race was all over the local and national news. American names have dominated the streets of Long Beach ever since, winning 14 of 28 races.

        On April 19, 2015,  the words “Drivers, start your engines!” will mark the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s 41st race!

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