As long-time readers of this column know, I have covered the Long Beach Grand Prix for many years. In addition to its scenic location right by the beach and the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, this event features plenty of motorsport series. This offers fans a rare opportunity to see a wide variety of motorsport competitions in one place, throughout the event.

If PRESS DAY is any indication (and I’m sure!), the 2022 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be fantastic – even better since the state of California’s COVID vaccination requirement for “mega- indoor events will be lifted on April 1. This, combined with the lifting of mask protocols, means there will be no more COVID-19 mandates.

Side-by-side Formula Drift

(Jan Wagner)

These are the world-class racing series you’ll get to see in action: NTT IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Formula Drift Super Drift Challenge, high-flying (literally!) SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks, Historic IMSA GTP Challenge and, novelty for 2022, not one but two major races of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Series, with 30 to 35 cars in the race.

There will be plenty more to see and do, including the ever-popular Lifestyle Expo and Family Fun Zone inside the Long Beach Convention Center, a SoCal food truck experience, outdoor concerts, racing memorabilia and artwork, and much more – all within easy walking distance of the beach and waterfront shopping, making this a great event not to be missed.

A slight drifting miscalculation in a turn

A slight drifting miscalculation in a turn

(Jan Wagner)

PRESS DAY’s track action included rides in Acura’s NSK, special two-seater IndyCars and Formula Drift cars. The wanderers put on a thrilling spectacle – sometimes picking up the tire barriers!

Alec Robbins is one of the Formula Drift competitors who visited a tire barrier – and I happened to catch him on video, which I’ll post in this column’s version on AutoMatters.net as soon as possible .

I visited Alex at his booth, where I discovered the unique and extremely powerful drift car he built himself, hidden inside what started out as the bodywork of a Nissan. 350Z 2005, and revealed in detail at: AlecRobbinsRacing.com. Everything is aftermarket, including the compact, supercharged GM LS2-based 6-liter engine with an aluminum block and aluminum heads, for light weight. Speaking of weight, the balance is good at just a few percent weight up front, thanks also to being able to push the engine back a bit further than the straight-six, plus the forward-traveling of the radiator. rear – a process that provided plenty of room for this radiator, and protected it from the inevitable crashes on the track. For your information, some bodies are maintained by zip ties, for quick and easy replacement.

Result of hitting tire wall while drifting

Result of hitting tire wall while drifting

(Jan Wagner)

The rear tire alignment settings – to a positive degree – are a bit different than what would be performed in more traditional motorsports. This is because the rear suspension is super soft, in order to let the weight shift to the rear. This gives a little more grip at the rear. As the car travels through its suspension range, it loses some of its positive camber, flattening out to zero. The rear suspension setup offers plenty of forward bite on the throttle and a tendency to spin a bit when off the throttle.

Learn more about Formula Drift at: https://www.formulad.com.

The Porsche Carrera Cup North America will race in Long Beach

The Porsche Carrera Cup North America will race in Long Beach

(Jan Wagner)

The “Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by the Cayman Islands” series will race for the first time in North America. This one-make series features purpose-built Porsche 992 GT3 Cup race cars, approximately 35 of which will be on the Long Beach grid. The cars are as delivered by Porsche, with a roll cage, full fire suppression systems, air struts, increased aerodynamics, larger rear fenders, motorsport-based suspension and slick tires Michelin racing. All the cars are identical, so the focus is on the skills of the drivers. They will race in three classes, with one race each on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the Carrera Cup North America, visit: https://porschecarreracup.us.

This year, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 8-10, 2022. For more information and to get your tickets, visit: https://gplb.com/racing/.

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