Preparation for the Acura Long Beach Grand Prix begins Thursday, February 23 – Orange County Register

City and race officials will ceremonially place the first K-rail downtown on Thursday morning, February 23, beginning construction for the 48th Annual Acura Long Beach Grand Prix.

After the ceremony, crews will descend Shoreline Drive, Pine Avenue and the other streets surrounding the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center to build the course for the Grand Prix, which will be held in April.

Then, on Thursday night, the Committee of 300 – the volunteer organizers of the race – will have their kickoff party at the Outback Steakhouse, just off Shoreline Drive.

Long Beach’s Acura Grand Prix, the city’s biggest annual party, takes place downtown April 14-16; It will feature multiple activities and entertainment, countless dining options and six different auto races, culminating in Sunday’s titular NTT IndyCar race.

It takes 50 days to set up all the concrete blocks, called K-rails (2,400 pieces), and the safety fence on either side of the 11-turn, almost 2-mile track. Then there are all the grandstands, hospitality tents and other facilities that house the 180,000 or so fans who visit the circuit over the three-day weekend.

Speaking of grandstands, one of the primary roles of the Committee of 300 — otherwise known as the C-300 — is to act as “grandstand ambassadors,” helping fans find their seats. Others occupy the Club C300 Hospitality Suite, a retreat from the trackside crowd for the lucky ticket holders to the Club behind Grandstand 24, at the hairpin leading to the track’s finish line.

“We are excited to host our kickoff event at the Outback Steakhouse, which is literally on the LB Grand Prix circuit,” said Derek Brown, President of the 2022-23 C-300. “The location offers space for the Grand Prix pace car directly in front of the restaurant. And we can use the rear terrace exclusively for the duration of the event.”

There is no admission fee for the kickoff, and food and beverages are available for purchase.

Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President Jim Michaelian will address the crowd, as will Grand Prix Foundation President Rick DuRee and Rick Lorenzen of the famed Lions Automobilia Museum. Mayor Rex Richardson was also invited to speak. Preparation for the Acura Long Beach Grand Prix begins Thursday, February 23 – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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