The Grand Prix Of Long Beach Association announced today that Toyota have ended their 44 year sponsorship of the Grand Prix.
A statement from the CEO of the Long Beach Grand Prix Association Jim Michaelian read:
We have had a phenomenal relationship with Toyota for 44 years, a record in the racing world. In recent discussions, however, Toyota have elected not to renew as title sponsor. This has now opened up the opportunity to identify a new title partner. Coming off a very successful 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, we’re excited about the future and are exploring all possible sponsorship opportunities that might exist in the market.
The statement went on to say:
Toyota came aboard our fledgling event in 1975 as Official Pace Car provider and in 1980 Toyota stepped up to become our entitlement sponsor and remained in that position for 39 years. In 1976, Toyota created the charitable Toyota ‘Race For Youth’ March race which would become the world famous Toyota Pro/Celebrity race starting in 1977, continuing for the next 40 years. Among the many beneficiaries of this race were the Children’s Hospital of Long Beach and Orange County. Together over the years, we were able to build the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach into America’s #1 street race. On behalf of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, i would like to thank Toyota for all that it did to help us grow our event and make it what it is today. We are proud to have had Toyota be the most prominent of our sponsor partners for so many years.