Actor Robert Patrick Named Grand Marshal for Saturday’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
2016-04-12 · By Editor
Actor, Robert Patrick, best known for his roles as villainous characters, will bring his love of racing back to the 40th and final Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on April 16, as Grand Marshal for the long-running, prestigious, charity event. Patrick will be joined by 11-year-old singing prodigy from Cerritos, Calif., Alexis “Shafira” Cunningham, who will open the race by performing the national anthem.
Patrick, a former Pro/Celebrity participant, whose breakthrough role came as the legendary T-1000 in Terminator 2, and can be seen as ‘Agent Cabe Gallow’ in “Scorpion” on CBS, will say the most famous words in racing — “Drivers… Start Your Engines” — at the start of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.
“We are delighted that Robert will be able to join us as Grand Marshal for this 40th anniversary celebration,” Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach said. “He will be in a prime position to witness what should be the most exciting race in the history of this event.”
The participation of both Patrick, and local star, Cunningham, adds to the impressive list of 20 Pro/Celebrity race participants from film, television, and sports, who will speed through the historic 1.97-mile street circuit on the streets of downtown Long Beach, Calif.
The field is made up of 18 past winners which include, Alfonso Ribeiro, Ricky Schroder, Sean Patrick Flanery, Dara Torres, Al Unser Jr., Eddie Lawson, Rod Millen, Max Papis, Frankie Muniz, Mike Skinner, Brian Austin Green, Jimmy Vasser, Ken Gushi, William Fichtner, Adam Carolla, Rutledge Wood, Brett Davern and Dave Pasant. Also in this year’s final race are charity auction winner, Doug Fregin, and Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales, Bob Carter.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race is the longest-running, corporate-sponsored event of its kind. Toyota annually donates $5,000 to ‘Racing For Kids’ on behalf of each participant and another $5,000 to the winning racer’s charity of choice. ‘Racing For Kids,’ a national nonprofit program benefiting children’s hospitals throughout the country, was created as a way to connect these children with their favorite celebrities and race car drivers.
Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2.3 million to the ‘Racing For Kids’ organization on behalf of this race and its participants.
Fans can follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB (#TPCR40) and Instagram at ToyotaGPLB.