Event Recap: Grand Prix of Long Beach

It was a perfect day for racing last Sunday at the 47th annual Grand Prix of Long Beach, America’s longest-running street race. As if on cue, the cool overcast morning started to give way to bright blue skies and California sunshine just as the racing began to heat up. Team MagnaFlow was invited to help host the on-site Exotic Car Paddock by our friends over at Mothers, makers of car waxes, polishes, cleaners and more.

Best In Show


The paddock itself more than lived up to its name, with Ferraris, McClarens, Lamborghinis and vehicles of similar pedigree temporarily turning the spot into one of the world’s most impressive parking lots. The scene delighted attendees of all ages, who were able to get up close and personal with these magnificent machines that are rarely seen on most streets.

“Drivers, start your engines!”


The main event was, of course, the racing, which began in glorious fashion with the Historic IMSA GTP Challenge Race, a short race/showcase of vintage GTP cars, including specimens from Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Lola, Nissan and Toyota. One of the Mazda rotary engine powered cars left a particularly big impression as it wailed around the track like some furious banshee, leaving the crowd awestruck every time it flew past with a ferocious sound rooted in the racing of decades past.

Next up was the big race of the weekend: the third event of NTT IndyCar Series. Josef Newgarden ended up clinching his second win of the season despite being chased closely for the latter part of the race by a doggedly determined Romain Grosjean, who worked his way into second place yet didn’t have enough left to give in order to pass Newgarden before the end. The race featured quite a bit of bumping between the cars as well as a few spins and appointments with the wall, with local favorite Colton Herta experiencing such a rendezvous with a barrier at turn 9 when his brakes locked up on the 56th of 85 laps, costing him the position he then had in second place.

Truck-tacular Racing


After the victory ceremony wrapped up and the track had been examined for debris, it was then time for the next race: the Stadium SUPER Trucks Race, which brought a whole new flavor of motorsport to the day. This was largely thanks to the slide-happy nature of the body roll-prone trucks and the magnificent jumps they pulled off at several set points along the course. Watching the lumbering race trucks fly through the air while nearly touching bumpers was quite a site to behold, and the transitions from jumps into corners provided plenty of opportunities for passing.

The rapidly changing g-forces at such moments also led to plenty of spins, including a spotty landing on the final jump of the race that cost Cleetus McFarland his lead, allowing Robby Gordon to secure his fifth win at Long Beach. In fact, when it comes to Super Trucks, it could be said the weekend belonged to the Gordon family, as his 13-year-old son Max had pulled of a spectacular win of his own in the previous day’s race.

A Perfect Sweep


One word that could be used to describe the final event of the Long Beach Grand Prix is, well, perfect. That’s because the Porsche Carrera Cup race resulted in a perfect sweep for Dutchman Kay van Berlo, who matched his win in the previous day’s race with another first place finish after a tense final lap showdown that resulted in him winning the Pro class. Americans Justin Oakes and Mark Kvamme won the Pro-Am and Am class respectively.

All told, it was a great time as always, with myriad food options, live music and more for fans to enjoy in addition to the racing over the course of the family-friendly weekend. Most importantly, for motorsport fans there’s simply no replacement for being there in person and watching the action live, so we would like to thank our friends at Mothers for inviting us to help host the Exotic Car Paddock. If you haven’t checked out the Grand Prix of Long Beach in person, it’s certainly worth seeing for yourself. For more coverage of events like this, stay tuned to our blog and follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.