Grand Prix of Long Beach kicks into high gear Friday with racing, other family fun-filled events – KABC-TV

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — Southern California's big race weekend kicks into gear. Some of the world's best drivers will be speeding through the streets of Long Beach for the Grand Prix this weekend.
The 3-day race event kicks off Friday. The headliner is the INDYCAR SERIES, featuring the same drivers that compete in the historic Indianapolis 500-mile race.
"It's great to have the opportunity now to put into effect all the planning we've done for the last 11 months. Here it is, race weekend, Day 1, Friday morning," said Jim Michaelian, CEO and President of Grand Prix of Long Beach. "We gotta make sure everything is prepared and everybody is ready to go because this is going to be a fun-filled weekend."
For decades, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has shut down city streets to welcome some of the world's fastest open-wheel race cars, earning the nickname "The Roar by the Shore!"
"It's our 49th year. We've got practice and qualifying for all series here today. Tonight we've got a concert," said Chris Esslinger, Director of Communications for the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
There are six series and 10 races, which include sports cars, indy cars, trucks, vintage cars and more, totaling about 150 entries, according to Michaelian. The biggest races will include about 27-30 cars per race.
"Right now we're trending to beat last year's attendance record, which we had over 192,000 people over the three days," said Esslinger.
The action-packed weekend will include activities from early in the morning into the evening with events such as drifting, concerts and much more.
"We have a huge lifestyle expo, a family fun zone. In that expo, there's a racing simulator exhibition with Cooler Master, one of our sponsors, and they're putting on a tournament for our fans…race for prizes," Esslinger said. "It's going to be an exciting weekend."
Gates open at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Tickets are still available for the event at
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