The start of the race and pole sitter Nelson Piquet (BRA) Brabham BT49, takes the lead that he was never to lose. This was his first F1 victory. United States Grand Prix (West), Long Beach, California, USA. 30 March 1980. BEST IMAGE

Long Beach to decide on Formula 1 or Indycar race

The start of the race and pole sitter Nelson Piquet (BRA) Brabham BT49, takes the lead that he was never to lose. This was his first F1 victory. United States Grand Prix (West), Long Beach, California, USA. 30 March 1980. BEST IMAGE

Less than two weeks after completion of the 43rd running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the City Council approved a contract for a consultant to study whether the city should keep IndyCar or move to Formula 1 racing for the Grand Prix.

Representatives of Formula 1 first approached the city in 2015 to gauge interest in hosting a Formula 1 street race. Formula 1 was the headline race for the first few years of the Long Beach Grand Prix before costs convinced organizers to move to the America-based IndyCar series.

Council members decided in 2015 to ask both groups to present plans to continue the Grand Prix. Those proposals were returned in late 2016 by the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and World Automobile Championship of California, LLC, proposing the Formula 1 affiliation.

Also in 2015, the city signed a three-year contract with GPALB, keeping IndyCar in the city through 2018.

Now the council wants an expert comparison of the two bids, and Tuesday signed a contract worth $150,000 with KPMG Corporate Finance, LLC for the work.

KPMG consultants will focus on the technical aspects of the proposal, both in terms of the ability of either promoter to fulfill the contract and the potential financial advantages to the city. The contract is for a year, but either side can terminate it with 30 days’ notice.

Long Beach hosted the United States Grand Prix West from 1976 to 1983 and winners included the likes of Niki Lauda, Alan Jones, Gilles Villeneuve, Carlos Reutemann and Mario Andretti.