The Pro/Celebrity race on Saturday of the Long Beach Grand Prix was a fan favorite for 39 years until title sponsor Toyota moved its headquarters to Texas in 2016. New sponsor Acura has added a pair of Historic Formula Atlantic Challenge races to try and fill that void.
The Formula Atlantic series features open-wheel racecars from the 1970s and 1980s in two 20-minute races on Saturday and Sunday.
“We are excited to be able to showcase these vintage Atlantic cars to our fans in a doubleheader format,” Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, said in an official statement. “This will give our fans more on-track action and that added race will be a big part of an enhanced Sunday schedule that we are putting together for the 2020 Acura Grand Prix.”
Formula Atlantic raced in Long Beach from 1978-82 and 1989-2008 as one of the premier lower level series for open-wheel racing. Drivers Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser Jr., Jimmy Vasser and Jacques Villeneuve all raced Formula Atlantic before graduating to Indy Car.
“It will be so exciting to see these cars on the streets of Long Beach again and have many of the former drivers attend the Formula Atlantic autograph session,” President of the Historic Motor Sports Association Cris Vandagriff said in an official statement. “All the cars will be authentic in every detail, including the livery they ran in-period.”
Tickets for the 2020 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will go on sale Oct. 21.