Construction began today on the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race circuit in preparation for the Sept. 24-26 race weekend that will include the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The 2020 Acura Grand Prix was cancelled due to the pandemic and the 2021 event was postponed from its traditional April date to September.
Over the next 52 days, more than 2,400 concrete blocks that anchor the safety system around the 1.97-mile, 11-turn circuit will be placed along with 14 large grandstands that line the racecourse.
The first full day of track construction kicked off today with management and workers from the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) helping to build the racetrack alongside Grand Prix Association of Long Beach personnel.
“This is the first physical sign that the Acura Grand Prix is back,” said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President and CEO Jim Michaelian.
“And we’re looking forward to hosting six exciting races with Acura as title sponsor and are pleased that LIUNA has returned as a sponsor this year, as they have helped us build a first-class facility for the past four decades.
“Our fans have waited a long time for this and we’re going to put on a great show for them.”
In total, Grand Prix Director of Operations Dwight Tanaka, LIUNA and Grand Prix Operations staff will put in more than 33,000 working hours installing the safety system – more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks, four miles of fencing and 17,000 bolted-together tires – along with grandstands, six pedestrian bridges and eight giant vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage. More than 185,000 fans attended the race in 2019.
Tanaka’s staff will also install 45 high-end hospitality suites, three hospitality clubs, tents, electrical lines and equipment, phones, porta-johns, trash containers and a myriad of other items around the track from now through race weekend.
The eastern portion of the racetrack (Turns 9, 10 and 11) will also be used for Round Seven of the eight-event 2021 Formula Drift season on Sept. 17-18.
All businesses along the race circuit, which includes Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Way and Pine Ave., will remain open during construction of the racetrack.