A three-day weekend of turbo charged excitement kicks off April 19 at the 39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix. The weekend will be jam-packed with events to fill everyone’s need for speed. So buckle your seat belt and put the pedal to the metal as you navigate through an explosion of races and events for all ages. With more than 170,000 fans expected, it will be helpful to keep a guide on hand of where and when events take place. The following is list of top events plus links for tickets, the official Toyota Grand Prix website, Facebook and Twitter. The schedule is subject to change without notice.
Friday, April 19
On your mark, get set, go! Friday, April 19 kicks off early. The day will include practice races, autograph signings and a concert. Check out the Lifestyle Expo Friday and Saturday. The ever-expanding Family Fun Zone – located in the Long Beach Arena section of the Lifestyle Expo – has rock climbing walls, games, video games, racing simulators and action sports demonstrations. In addition, kids ages 3 to 6 can race in their very own race cars. Outside, children 7 and older and adults will have the opportunity to race in Go-Karts on top of the Long Beach Arena parking garage.
7 a.m. Gates open
7:30 – 9:30 a.m. American Le Mans Series Practice
10:30 – 11:15 a.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
11:30 a.m. – noon Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Practice
12:15 – 1:15 p.m. Firestone Indy Lights Practice
2:30 – 3:15 p.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
3:30 – 4 p.m. Toyota Pro/Celebrity Qualifying
4 – 5 p.m. IZOD IndyCar Series All-Driver Autograph Session (IndyCar Paddock – FREE to all ticket holders)
4:15 – 4:45 p.m. Pirelli World Challenge Championship Practice
5 – 6:30 p.m. American Le Mans Series Qualifying
6:45 p.m. Tecate Light Fiesta Friday Concert Starring Moderatto and Moenia
7 – 7:45 p.m. Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge Practice
7:45 – 9 p.m. Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge Qualifying
Saturday, April 20
The engines are revved, drivers are ready, let the races begin! The two big races on Saturday are the Toyota/Pro Celebrity Race and the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans series race. The Tecate Light “Rock-N-Roar” Concert featuring Bret Michaels on the Convention Center concert stage is free with a race ticket. Night owls will enjoy the Formula Drift, featuring the best drifting drivers in America. For the first time in 2013, 16 of the top cars and drivers will slip and slide their way through the eastern end of the Grand Prix circuit under the lights – the first night racing in the 39-year history of the Grand Prix.
7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Pirelli World Challenge Practice
8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights Practice
10:40 – 11:25 a.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race (10 laps)
12:55 – 1:40 p.m. Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying
2 – 3:10 p.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying & Firestone Fast Six
3:55 p.m. American Le Mans Pre-Race Ceremonies
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series Race (120 minutes)
6:45 p.m. Tecate Light Rock-N-Roar Concert Starring Bret Michaels
7 – 9:00 p.m. Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge
Sunday, April 21
On Sunday, outside turn nine, fans can enjoy the Mothers Exotic Car Paddock with more than 100 exotic sports cars on display, including Ferraris, Porsches, Lotus and many more. Robby Gordon of OFF-ROAD Stadium SUPER Trucks will give a 20-minute exhibition race featuring 600-horsepower, V-8 trucks getting airborne over specially constructed metal ramps on Shoreline Drive.
7:20 – 7:40 a.m. Stadium SUPER Trucks Practice
8 – 8:25 a.m. Pirelli World Challenge Qualifying
9 – 9:30 a.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
9:55 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights Pre-Race
10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights Race (60 minutes)
11:30 – 11:38 a.m. Mothers Polishes Exotic Car Parade
Noon – 12:20 p.m. Stadium SUPER Trucks Exhibition Race
12:30 p.m. IZOD IndyCar Series Pre-Race Ceremonies
1:38 p.m. “Drivers, Start Your Engines!”
1:45 – 3:30 p.m. Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Round #3 of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series)
3:55 – 4:10 p.m. Formula DRIFT Demonstration
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Pirelli World Challenge Championship Race (60 minutes)
Race Weekend Food and Drink
There is no excuse to let your tank get empty whether you are thirsty or hungry. The organizers of the Toyota Grand Prix have set up plenty of options for dining and drinks.
Food Truck Experience
Located behind Grandstand 31, south of the front straightaway near Shoreline Village, the Food Truck Experience brings the best in Southern California gourmet food trucks to the races.
Tecate Cantinas and Sports Bars
Tecate and Tecate Light, Official Beers of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, have a number of cantinas, lounges and sports bars around the track for fans’ enjoyment. Stop in and enjoy and nice, cold Tecate or Tecate Light during the race day.
McManis Wine Bars
McManis Family Vineyards, the Official Wine of the Grand Prix, has several wine bars located throughout the race circuit. Come in and taste some of their award-winning varietals.
Located in Vendor Row outside the Long Beach Arena, Club Patrón serves the finest tequila drinks during race weekend.
300 East Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802
Tickets: (888) 82-SPEED
Phone: (562) 981-2600
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a writer in South Orange County who can also be found @Sunnynsocal.