The second day of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has begun — and Saturday, Sept. 25, is when the racing competitions kick off in earnest.
Long Beach’s biggest annual party — and one of the region’s biggest sporting events — kicked off on Friday. But, as is typical for the Grand Prix, Friday represented a build up of energy and excitement, with the real action set for Saturday.
Around 10 a.m. Saturday, for example, the crowds were bigger than they were at the same time Friday. Of course, Friday was the last day of the workweek. And the school week.
Indeed, the Grand Prix concourse, in downtown Long Beach, had far more children bouncing around Saturday morning than on Friday.
Saturday’s schedule, meanwhile, is filled with competitions, unlike Friday, which was mostly a practice day — except for some qualifying races and a drifting competition in the evening.
Racing fans were still filing in around 10 a.m. Saturday, about the time the first Stadium Super Trucks race kicked off a slate of five competitions.
The grandstands were filling up around then and promised to be packed by the time one of day’s biggest events happens: IndyCar qualifying.
The qualifying, scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m., will set the stage for the weekend’s headlining event, Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The Long Beach street race, which will begin at 12:45 p.m. Sunday and will be televised on NBC Sports Net, will also take on greater importance this year. It will end the NTT IndyCar Series after being delayed from its traditional April running to September because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But racing fans won’t want to miss Saturday either. Besides the trucks race and the Grand Prix qualifying, there are also sports car races, including the International Motor Sports Association Grand Prix of Long Beach.
And for those who head downtown less for the racing and more for the partying, there’s also the Saturday night concert to look forward to.
Vince Neil, the leader of Mötley Crüe, will perform at 5:30 p.m.
Here’s what else folks can look forward to Saturday:
11:05-11:20 a.m.: Global Time Attack Competition No. 1.
12:05-1:20 p.m.: IndyCar Qualifying and Firestone Fast 6.
2:06.-3:46 p.m.: IMSA SportsCar Grand Prix of Long Beach.
4:30-4:50 p.m.: Historic Formula Atlantic Challenge Race No. 1
5:30 p.m.: Saturday night concert featuring Vince Neil.
6-7:30 p.m.: Formula D Super Drift Challenge Competition No. 2.
Source: Orange County Register