Toyota ends 44-year-old sponsor deal with Long Beach Grand Prix

Toyota will not renew its 44-year-old title sponsorship of IndyCar's Long Beach Grand Prix, ending what organisers claim is the longest running commercial deal in the history of motorsport

Toyota ends 44-year-old sponsor deal with Long Beach Grand Prix

The manufacturer was involved in the very first Long Beach GP in September 1975 as a pacecar provider to what was then a Formula 5000 event (pictured below).

It then continued its association in the Formula 1 years of 1976-83, becoming the title sponsor of the US GP (West) in '80.

When promoter Chris Pook was unable to extend his deal with Bernie Ecclestone, Long Beach became an Indycar event in 1984 and Toyota has remained involved ever since.

"We have had a phenomenal relationship with Toyota for 44 years, a record in the racing world," said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach president and CEO Jim Michaelian. "In recent discussions, however, Toyota elected not to continue as the 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.

"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."

While Toyota had a spell as an Indycar engine supplier for much of the race's history it did not have a direct involvement in the headline event, however, it has supplied road cars for the Pro-Celebrity charity race since 1977.

shares
comments
McLaren F1 driver Alonso set for first 2018 IndyCar test soon

Previous article

McLaren F1 driver Alonso set for first 2018 IndyCar test soon

Next article

Honda would welcome Alonso in IndyCar, won't rule out McLaren supply

Honda would welcome Alonso in IndyCar, won't rule out McLaren supply
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author Adam Cooper
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020