Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach features six major motorsports series ￼
PRESS DAY coverage includes an action-packed, original drifting video!
As long-time readers of this column know, I’ve been covering the Grand Prix of Long Beach for many years.
In addition to its scenic location right next to the beach and the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, this event includes many motorsports series. That provides fans with a rare opportunity to see a wide variety of motorsports competitions in one location, over the course of the event.
If PRESS DAY is any indication (and I’m sure it is!), the 2022 edition of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be fantastic — made even better since the State of California’s COVID vaccination requirement for indoor “mega-events” will be lifted on April 1st. This, combined with the lifting of the mask protocols, means there will be no more COVID-19 mandates.
These are the world-class racing series that you will be able to see in action: NTT IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Formula Drift Super Drift Challenge, high-flying (literally!) SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks, Historic IMSA GTP Challenge and, new for 2022, not one but two great races of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Series, with 30-35 cars racing.
There will be much more to see and do, including the ever-popular Lifestyle Expo and Family Fun Zone inside the Long Beach Convention Center, a SoCal food truck experience, outdoor concerts, racing souvenirs and artwork, and much more — all within easy walking distance of the beach and waterfront shopping — adding up to a great event that you do not want to miss.
PRESS DAY’s on-track action featured rides in Acura’s NSX, special two-seater IndyCars and Formula Drift cars.
Alec Robbins is one of the Formula Drift competitors who paid a visit to a tire barrier — and I happened to catch that on video, which I have included in an action-packed drifting video here, on my YouTube channel. Check it out!
I visited with Alex in his pit, where I learned about the unique, wildly high-horsepower drift car that he constructed himself, tucked-away inside what started out as the scrap body shell of a 2005 Nissan 350Z, and revealed in great detail at: AlecRobbinsRacing.com.
Everything is aftermarket, including the compact, supercharged, LS2-based GM 6-liter engine with an aluminum block and aluminum heads, for light weight.
Speaking of weight, the balance is good, at only a couple percent front-heavy, thanks also to being able to push the engine back a little more than the inline six, plus the relocation of the radiator to the back — a process which provided plenty of room for that radiator, and which protected it from inevitable on-track collisions.
FYI, some of the bodywork is held on with zip ties, for quick and easy replacement.
Rear tire alignment settings — as much as a degree positive — are a little different than would be run in more traditional motorsports. That is because the rear suspension is super-soft, in order to let the weight transfer back. That provides for a little more rear grip. As the car travels through its suspension range it loses some of its positive camber, flattening out to zero. The rear suspension setup provides a lot of forward bite on-throttle, and a tendency to skate around a little bit when off-throttle.
Learn more about Formula Drift at: https://www.formulad.com.
The “Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by the Cayman Islands” series will be racing in North America for the first time. This one-make series features purpose-built Porsche 992 GT3 Cup racecars — about 35 of which will be on the grid in Long Beach. The cars are as-delivered from Porsche, complete with a roll cage, full fire suppression systems, pneumatic air jacks, increased aerodynamics, larger rear wings, motorsport-based suspension and spec Michelin racing slick tires. All of the cars are the same, so the focus is on the drivers’ skills. They will be racing in three classes, with one race each on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information about Carrera Cup North America, visit: https://porschecarreracup.us.
This year’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach takes place April 8-10, 2022. For more information and to get your tickets, visit: https://gplb.com/racing/.