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    Grand Prix of Long Beach: Jim Michaelian thrilled about Historic F1 races
    • April 13, 2023

    It doesn’t take much to get Jim Michaelian revved up this time of year, so it was no surprise to hear how excited he is about a couple of 20-minute Historic F1 Challenge races that will be among the support series for this weekend’s 48th running of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

    The Grand Prix of Long Beach began in 1975 with the Formula 5000 series as the main event. The next year it switched to Formula 1 and stayed that way until 1984 when it switched to Champ Car, which merged with IndyCar in 2008.

    The Historic F1 Challenge races will be run Saturday at 11:20 a.m., the day before Sunday’s NTT IndyCar main event, and again on Sunday at 10:45 a.m. Best of all, most of the cars that will be on the grid were driven there decades ago.

    “There’s 19 cars now and I think the last count it was like 15 actually ran here from ’76 to ’83, 15 out of the 19,” Michaelian said.

    To say Michaelian is thrilled about this development is putting it mildly.

    “First, the few of us who were around then, it’s a great chance to reminisce about the sights and the sounds of those cars on the circuit,” he said. “But I think more importantly, for those who didn’t have the opportunity, this is a chance for them to see and to hear the sounds of those engines.”

    That alone is worth taking in the race, Michaelian intimated.

    “There’s Cosworth’s V8’s, there’s a flat-twelve, there’s a V12,” he said of the engines. “I mean, those are totally different sounds than you’ll ever hear anymore. So it’s not only a look back, but it also is for many people a new experience.”

    The IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Grand Prix is the main support race in Long Beach. It will last 100 minutes on Saturday. There is also the Porsche Carrera Cup, the Stadium Super Trucks and the Super Drift Challenge.


    Sebastien Bourdais won three Grand Prix of Long Beach main events from 2005-07, but there was not a repeat winner again until Alexander Rossi pulled it off in 2018 and 2019.

    Josef Newgarden is the defending champion and he comes into this race off a victory at the Texas Motor Speedway for the second consecutive year.

    Related links

    Grand Prix of Long Beach: Graham Rahal still fighting for positive results
    Grand Prix of Long Beach: Oh, baby, what a time it was for Josef Newgarden

    ​ Orange County Register