IndyCar qualifying for Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach set for Saturday
Qualifying will be held Saturday for the featured IndyCar race of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach along with the conclusion of the drifting competition and a concert by Royal Machines, self-described as “rock’s greatest all-star band.”
IMSA sports car, Porsche Carrera Cup and truck races will also be held Saturday.
Frenchman Simon Pagnaud posted the fastest practice time among the IndyCar drivers Friday, completing a lap of the 1.97-mile, 11-turn street circuit surrounding the Long Beach Convention Center in one minute, 7.1991 seconds, 105.43 mph.
Qualifying will be shown on the Peacock streaming service from noon–1:30 p.m.
The Porsche Carrera Cup race was scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. Every car competing is identical, the road car-based Porsche 911 GT3. With no technical advantage between cars, driver talent, along with team mechanical skills and strategy, will decide the winners of the 40-minute races.
A second Porsche Carrera Cup race will be held at 4:20 p.m. Sunday.
The IMSA drivers will hold an autograph session from 11–11:30 a.m. in the IMSA paddock, free to all spectators. The 100-minute IMSA race will begin at 2 p.m. and be televised by USA Network.
A 30-minute SPEED/UTV Stadium Super Trucks race is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. The series for 600-horsepower V-8 engine trucks was founded by former IndyCar and NASCAR driver Robby Gordon, who also drives on the series, and will start from the pole.
Gordon’s 14-year-old son Max will start seventh in the field of 12 drivers. The younger Gordon has been racing since he was 8 years old. He was fourth in the driver series points in 2021.
A second truck race will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Historic IMSA GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) Challenge is scheduled from 5:15–5:35 p.m. It features car marques including Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Nissan, Lola and Toyota once driven by such drivers as Derek Bell, Geoff Brabham, Derek Daly, Juan Manuel Fangio II, Scott Pruett, Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr.
Each of the cars is authentic in every detail, including the livery they ran at the time.
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America races and Historic IMSA GTP Challenge are in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach for the first time.
The final portion of the initial drifting competition will be held from 6:30–8 p.m., following a practice session from 6–6:20 p.m. Forrest Wang won Friday’s portion after being out of regular Formula Drift competition since 2019.
The Super Drift Challenge is an invitational event. Competitors are drawn from the Formula Drift series but do not score points toward its two championships.
In drifting, drivers intentionally maneuver their cars into controlled sideways slides at high speeds through a marked course, with a judging panel determining the winner based on execution and style.
The Royal Machines’ concert will take place at approximately 6 p.m. on the plaza in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center and is free to Saturday race ticket holders. Space at the plaza is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The band’s members include Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), Billy Morrison (Billy Idol and The Cult), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Donovan Leitch and Josh Freese (The Vandals).
The 47th edition of the Grand Prix concludes Sunday. NBC’s telecast of the IndyCar race is set to begin at noon.