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Long Beach Grand Prix to tighten security after Boston explosions

April 15, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is tightening security for this weekend's event. Pictured: Will Power, last year's winner, takes the checkered flag.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is tightening security for this weekend's… (Michael L. Levitt / Associated…)

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, a racing festival that typically draws more than 170,000 spectators over three days, is tightening security for this weekend's event in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon explosions.

Officials "will be working in conjunction with the Long Beach Police Department, fire department, city and other agencies to take the appropriate measures to provide for the safety of our fans, workers and participants," said Jim Michaelian, who oversees the event as chief executive of the Grand Prix Assn. of Long Beach.

He declined to reveal what the measures include.

The event's crown-jewel race is the grand prix itself Sunday, the third race of the year on the Izod IndyCar Series schedule.

Before the grand prix, there also is a race between drivers in IndyCar's second-tier Indy Lights series Sunday morning, and after the grand prix is the Pirelli World Challenge sports-car race Sunday afternoon.

Saturday's schedule includes the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race in identically prepared Toyota Scion cars, the American Le Mans Series sports-car race and a "drifting" competition in which race cars swerve through a course in plumes of tire smoke.

Competitors in all of those races will be practicing or qualifying throughout the day Friday. The weekend also includes outdoor concerts and other entertainment.

The drivers race on an 11-turn, 1.97-mile temporary circuit along Long Beach's seaside streets, including a long stretch of Shoreline Drive.


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