By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
For the first time ever, Southern California’s most prestigious race won’t commence as the 46th Annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which also includes the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, is officially cancelled.
The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach confirmed its fate Tuesday as the drivers, teams and fans alike will have to wait until April 16-18, 2021 to return at the 1.968-mile street circuit.
The obvious reason for its cancellation is because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the first four INDYCAR races being affected, something that President and CEO of the GPALB Jim Michaelian was disappointed to announce as he tried to reschedule the race at a later date.
“Over the past few days, we have actively pursued the possibility of rescheduling the Acura Grand Prix to a later date this year with the City of Long Beach, the Convention Center, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and our other race sanctioning bodies,” Michaelian said.
“We are very disappointed that we were unable to put something together for all our loyal fans and valued clients, but trying to reassemble all the elements that have made the Long Beach event such a success does not appear feasible for 2020. As a result, our attention will now be focused on planning the 46th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16-18, 2021.”
Last Friday, INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles confirmed in a teleconference that the race was cancelled due to the regulations the City of Long Beach announced where large events are prohibited through April 30.
“Long Beach could not stage an event because of the California local governmental regulations,” Miles said. “We’re in close regular multiple-times-a-day communication with all of our other races, particularly before May. They were finding it increasingly unlikely that they were going to be able to stage races.”
However, RACER’s Robin Miller reported hours later that Michaelian was trying to save the race, which ultimately didn’t work out.
Now with Long Beach out of the 2020 calendar, the GPALB confirmed they’ll be doing a ticket credit/refund policy.
The first option gives ticket holders an opportunity to receive credits which will be applied for same level admission to the 2021 grand prix weekend. It’ll include a Price Protection Plan which will protect them from a price increase and guaranteed to purchase the same level of ticket for the 2022 event with the 2020 price.
If ticket holders don’t want to go with that option, they’ll be given a full refund option with the exception of a processing fee by April 30, 2020.
Barring any updates regarding the health crisis, INDYCAR is slated to kick off its season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.