Toyota Motor North America is ending its title sponsorship of the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today. No reason was given for Toyota’s decision to end its sponsorship of the annual street race.
Toyota first partnered with the Grand Prix in 1975 as a pace car provider and became a sponsor the next year.
“We have had a phenomenal relationship with Toyota for 44 years, a record in the racing world,” Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, stated. “In recent discussions, however, Toyota has elected not to renew as the title sponsor. This has now opened up an opportunity to identify a new title partner.”
In 1976, the car manufacturer created the Toyota “Race for Youth” Match Race, which became the Pro/Celebrity Race. A signature part of Grand Prix for 40 years, the event benefited children’s hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County.
“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,” Michaelian said. “Coming off our 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 2019 Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 12-14.