This year's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will begin with something that hasn't been seen on Shoreline Drive in the weekend's feature race since 2008 -- a standing start.
Race officials announced the format Tuesday as preparations continue for the April 11-13 race weekend. The standing start -- all cars will line up and stop on the grid in the order they qualified before lights signal the start of the race -- is the first in a featured race at the GPLB since the final Champ Car World Series race in 2008.
The standing start is usually associated with Formula 1 races, last run in Long Beach in 1983, and often leads to tight racing in the first turn, calamity and significant changes of position early on in the first lap.
Previous IndyCar events in Long Beach featured a rolling start in which the starter dropped a green flag as the drivers completed formation laps.
"It’s a great location and I think the fans will like it," said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations. "Long Beach has a history of standing starts, and in its 40th anniversary race this ties in with that tradition."
The IndyCar Series race is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. on Sunday April 13. Grand Prix weekend also will feature the multi-class Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase with the cars of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Pro/Celebrity Race, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Pirelli World Challenge, SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks and Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge.