Acura confirmed on Tuesday that it will become the title sponsor of the 2019 Grand Prix of Long Beach, an iconic race on the streets of Long Beach, California that's been held since the mid-'70s. The 2019 edition of the race will see a plethora of racing series take to the narrow and bumpy streets, but the headliners will be two series in which Acura and Honda are heavily invested in: the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IndyCar.
According to a statement released by the automaker, the multi-year sponsorship deal aims to strengthen the brand's involvement in high-level motorsports (as if Honda wasn't already a household name), and celebrate Acura's successful return to the top level of sports car racing with the Acura ARX-05 of Team Penske and the NSX GT3 Evo of Meyer Shank Racing.
"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 motorsports events, and an institution in Southern California. Acura is delighted and proud to be associated with the Grand Prix of Long Beach, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership."
Acura picks up the naming rights to the event after rival automaker Toyota had it for 44 years, having sponsored the popular event since 1975. When the announcement was made in 2018 that Toyota would terminate its agreement it didn't reveal a specific reason for its withdrawal, with a spokesperson simply citing that it was "a very difficult decision."
The 45th Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 12-14, 2019.