LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Acura Grand Prix is officially here after a year off because of the pandemic.
"I love it I've been missing it, been cooped up in the house for 18 months," said race fan Don Shields.
Officials are expecting 40,000 people today and around 170,000 people over the three day race weekend which is a huge boost for Long Beach businesses.
"I think it'll parallel what we had in the past, a very similar size, but what I really like about it is the energy and excitement," said Acura Grand Prix Association President, Jim Michaelian.
There will be six races and more than 150 drivers over the weekend participating.
For some drivers, it'll be their first time on the track.
"I'm really looking forward to getting on the track and getting the feel of things. There's so much preparation that goes into a weekend like this especially coming without any track experience, any driving experience, yeah just looking forward to getting out there and learning as much as I can," said race car driver Oliver Askew.
With so many drivers and fans, there are protocols in place
"You must be masked at all times indoors or outdoors because this is a mega event," Michaelian said.
Everyone attending today had to show either a negative Covid test or proof of vaccination.
Fans and drivers are optimistic about more races in the future despite the pandemic
"It affected last season heavily. This season has been much better so the schedule is starting to look a lot more normal," Askew said.
Acura Grand Prix tickets are still available at GPLB.com.
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Acura Grand Prix kicks off in Long Beach
The Acura Grand Prix is September 24 to 26, and around 150 drivers are expected in Long Beach.
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