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What to know about the 6 racing series at the 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach

Six racing series will roar along the shoreline during three days of competition at the 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Fans will see purpose-built race cars, high-performance production cars, high-flying trucks and historic Indy cars. Three days of motorsports on the street course begin Friday with practice sessions and qualifying before shifting into high gear Saturday and Sunday.

Click here for the full weekend schedule. Download the 2024 fan guide here.

Here are the six different types of series featured at the 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

NTT INDYCAR Series

These open-wheel cars — the same competing at the Indianapolis 500 in May — make up Sunday’s feature race. Raced on banked oval tracks, road and street courses, the versatile cars will reach top speeds around 185 mph in front of the grandstands on Shoreline Drive.

Last year’s winner Kyle Kirkwood completed the 85-lap race in 1 hour, 43 minutes and 17 seconds, winning from pole position just 0.99 seconds in front of second-place Andretti Autosport teammate Romain Grosjean.

The top-five finishers averaged more than 97 mph around the 11-turn street course. Seven laps were run under the caution flag, which can make or break a team’s afternoon in Long Beach.

Alex Palou clocked the fastest lap of the race at 104.270 mph.

When to Watch: A knockout-style qualifying session starts Saturday at 11:25 a.m. before Sunday race day. The green flag drops at 12:45 p.m.

Broadcast/Streaming Schedule: Peacock will carry qualifying on Sunday. Watch the race Sunday on Peacock and USA.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

One of the world’s most exciting and competitive sports car racing series features Saturday in a 100-minute shootout. The event is actually two races in one — a competition among GT Prototype race cars (GTP) and another in the production car GT Daytona class (GTD), which features 11 of the world’s top automotive manufacturers.

The cars, drivers and teams have been battle tested at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring this year, so the 100-minute shootout on the 1.9-mile Long Beach street course will be a hard-fought sprint race with the winner largely determined by who can stay out of trouble and the pits.

Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet drove a Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 to victory last year in the GTP class after some late-race drama. TD PRO was won by Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat in the Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. In GTD, Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow finished first in the Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3.

Filipe Albuquerque, driving an Acura ARX-06, set the series track record last year with a lap of 1:09.909.

When to Watch: A 50-minute qualifying session is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday before the race at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Visitors also can tour the IMSA paddock Friday and Saturday for a close look at the cars and the teamwork that goes into race day preparations.

Broadcast/Streaming Schedule: Watch the race live on USA Network and Peacock. A live qualifying stream will be available Friday on Peacock.

Formula Drift driver Simen Olsen drives at the 2022 Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach Media Day on March 29, 2022.
Formula Drift driver Simen Olsen drives at the 2022 Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach Media Day on March 29, 2022 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

Super Drift Challenge

The Super Drift Challenge is a tire-smoking fan favorite in which drivers slide through turns. Judges watch for a driver’s line on the course, angle in the turns and and style. A trailing car’s proximity to the lead car also is a factor in the tandem competition.

When to Watch: Friday and Saturday nights, 6:30 p.m.

Broadcast/Streaming Schedule: Click here.

Stadium Super Truck drivers Zoey Edenholm, Max Gordon, Robert Stout and Davey Hamilton Jr. all go airborne.
Stadium Super Truck drivers Zoey Edenholm, Max Gordon, Robert Stout and Davey Hamilton Jr. all go airborne off a jump on Pine Avenue during the SST race at the 47th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday, April 9, 2022. (Photo by Will Lester/MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images)

SPEED/UTV Stadium SUPER Trucks

Stadium SUPER Trucks literally fly down Shoreline Drive. The powerful trucks provide some of the weekend’s best entertainment, soaring off ramps as they compete side-by-side.

When to Watch: Races are scheduled for 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, after the Indycar event.

GT America Powered by AWS

GT2, GT3 and GT4 spefc race cars will compete in two 40-minute races on Saturday and Sunday. Manufacturers in the field includes Acura, Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren, Porsche and Toyota.

When to Watch: Watch qualifying from 4:25 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., Saturday. Races are scheduled for 4:45 p.m. to 5:25 p.m. Saturday and 4:20 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the weekend’s final event.

Historic Indy Challenge

Turn back the clock. Vintage Indy cars from decades past rev up the nostalgia with 20-minute races on Saturday and Sunday. The cars include a 1966 Eagle, the oldest and among the most storied cars in the field. The car was built by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers in Santa Ana.

When to Watch: Races are 10:40 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and 10:45 a.m. to 11:05 a.m., Sunday.

About the Street Course in Long Beach

A lap doesn’t take long in Long Beach. The course is only 1.968 miles with 11 turns. The fastest section is along Shoreline Drive and the start-finish line. Fans in the grandstands can watch cars reach their top speeds on the track and see what happens when pit lane gets busy.

From there, drivers brake hard into Turn 1, an overtaking opportunity before the dolphin fountain section and turns 2 and 3. After navigating turns 4 and 5, the track parallels a portion of Shoreline Drive — an exciting viewing area on the dive down into Turn 6.

Drivers set up through here for the blast down Seaside Way and entry into another technical section of track that includes a sweeping left into the hairpin Turn 11. This last section of the track is another great place to watch.

Take a lap with Colton Herta during his blistering qualifying run in 2022.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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