The Grand Prix of Long Beach is almost upon us. Or, actually, we are almost upon it! The 48th installment of this “beach party” begins Friday, April 14, and we will be there. If you’re wondering who “we” will be, it could be you. While we’re not offering last-minute trips to this annual Southern California sporting celebration, we are inviting you to tune in to the many BMW CCA channels to get insight into the activities throughout the weekend.
We’re also inviting you to tell us what you want to see! Comment below and we’ll do our best to find the cars, the teams, the drivers, the fans, the turns, and more to bring that coverage to you.
Where will you be able to see BMW CCA’s exclusive coverage? Check out BimmerLife late Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights for daily summaries. We’ll be striving to capture views and perspectives that you also might not find elsewhere—like experiencing the high energy of a pit stop, action in the paddock by race teams’ tents / trailers, sights and sounds from alongside the track, interviews with team members, and more.
We’ll also be posting to Instagram and Facebook with a steady mix of feed posts, story posts, reels, and Live posts. More than 1,000 of you have already seen the Instagram Live we did ahead of this event with Will Turner on April 5. If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here. At Long Beach, Turner will present some die cast car models and has mentioned that he will be giving one away at the track at the Meet & Greet with BMW CCA on Saturday, April 15. Another bonus bit of fun at the track!
So, what do we have to look forward to at the track? The Grand Prix of Long Beach can be a three-day party for many of the 180,000 attendees over the long weekend. Beyond the beverages, strangely over-sized turkey legs, and frighteningly yet intriguing large blocks of french fries, there are six racing series represented: IndyCar, IMSA, Historic F1 challenge, Super Drift, Stadium Super Trucks, and Porsche Carrera Cup Series.
BMW will be represented with five cars in the IMSA race scheduled for Saturday afternoon and we anticipate more BMWs in Super Drift Friday and Saturday nights. This will be the first time BMW’s Hybrid V8 GTP cars compete on a street course. We can expect that to look pretty imposing with these incredible cars running around the same streets we can drive 49 other weeks of the year. The GTP field will consist of two Cadillacs, two Acuras, two Porsches. and two BMWs (cars #24 and #25).
The BMW Hybrid V8 car #24 will be driven by Philipp Eng and Augustus Farfus while the number 25 car will be driven by Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly.
There will be fifteen entrants in the GTD class including three BMW M4 GT3s—Paul Miller Racing will have one car and Turner Motorsport will have two. The Paul Miller Racing car will be driven by Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow. At Daytona and Sebring, Turner ran one car in GTD Pro and one in GTD, but for this 100-minute race in Long Beach, both cars will run GTD.
Unlike last year when Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen were paired in a car, they will be competing against each other in Long Beach. This year, in the Liqui Moly car #96, Robby Foley—now a BMW factory driver—will be paired with Patrick Gallagher, while Chandler Hull will be driving with Bill Auberlen in the McIntosh liveried car, now numbered 97. IMSA qualifying is Friday at 5:10 p.m. PST and the race is Saturday at 2:00 p.m. PST.
Super Drift is always a fun time for the fans, especially watching the cars under the lights on a portion of the same course on which IMSA, the Indy cars, and more will run. The event is a fantastic show for the fans, especially as the majority of the 30-second runs take place in front of the packed grandstands.
Sunday’s highlight is certainly the IndyCar race, but if you’re onsite, don’t leave early. You’ll miss the incredibly entertaining Stadium Super Trucks soaring again through the air and, finally, the Porsche Carrera Cup race two.
If you can make it to the event, be sure to stop by the BMW CCA Meet & Greet events. If you can’t make it there, follow along on BimmerLife for nightly updates and social media for action throughout the weekend. But either way, comment below and let us know what you’d like us to cover and we’ll see if we can incorporate it!
Good luck race teams! —Kyle van Hoften