Acura will lend its name to the longest-running street race in North America beginning this year with the 45th edition of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The Acura brand was launched in 1986 as the first luxury marque marketed by a Japanese manufacturer and, 33 years later, will pick up where Toyota left off with the newly named Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in a multiyear deal with the event.
Last year, the brand returned to the top level of North American sports car competition with a pair of Acura ARX-05 cars fielded by Team Penske.
“With our U.S. headquarters nearby in Torrance, this is a true ‘home’ event for the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager. “The Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of North America’s premier motor sports events, and an institution in Southern California.”
Acura’s parent company Honda has a long history with open-wheel racing. Honda has powered the winning car on the streets of Long Beach six of the last 10 years, most recently with Alexander Rossi in 2018.
The first event to carry the Acura name will be headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series on April 14, 2019. The day before, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take to the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit for a one-hour, 40-minute race.