Celebrity Drivers Announced For 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
2011-02-22 · By Editor
2010 Celebrity Winner Brian Austin Green Returns to Compete with the Pros
For the 35th year, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will bring together a star-studded field of Hollywood’s elite to race for charity. On Saturday, April 16, stars from film, television, music, sports and fashion will showcase their newly earned racing chops in identically prepared, race-ready Scion tCs on the historic 10-lap, 1.97-mile street circuit through the downtown streets of Long Beach in Southern California.
This year’s anticipated field of 20 drivers, competing in what has become the world’s longest-running, most prestigious celebrity racing event, includes the following assortment of beloved entertainment and media personalities:
- Anthony Anderson Film and television actor recently starred in NBC’s “Law and Order.” Film credits include “Transformers,” “The Departed” and “Me, Myself & Irene.” Upcoming appearances include “The Big Year” and “Scream 4.”
- Jillian Barberie Reynolds Television personality and co-host on news show “Good Day LA” and anchor on “FOX NFL Sunday.”
- Tyson Beckford World-famous supermodel. Once the face of Ralph Lauren, he recently starred as a mentor and judge on Bravo’s “Make Me a Supermodel.”
- Eddie Cibrian Television and film actor best known for roles in “CSI: Miami,” “Ugly Betty,” “Vanished,” “Invasion,” “Third Watch,” “Sunset Beach,” and “Baywatch Nights.”
- Kim Coates Film and television actor best known for his roles in “Sons of Anarchy,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” “Prison Break,” “CSI: Miami,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Pearl Harbor.”
- Kevin Eubanks Musician most noted for being the bandleader on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” He released his album “Zen Food” in 2010.
- Dennis Haysbert Actor recognized as the face and voice of Allstate Insurance. Best known for his work on “The Unit,” “24,” “Jarhead” and “Now and Again.”
- Djimon Hounsou Two-time Academy Award–nominated actor known for blockbuster films “In America,” “Blood Diamond,” “Amistad” and “Gladiator.”
- Kevin Jonas Guitarist in the Jonas Brothers band. Along with his brothers, he starred in “Camp Rock” and has released a number of Billboard Top 100 albums, including “A Little Bit Longer.”
- Stephen Moyer Actor currently starring in the Golden Globe–nominated HBO series “True Blood.” He has also played roles in “The Starter Wife” and “88 Minutes.”
- Tito Ortiz World-famous UFC Light Heavyweight champion and owner of the highly successful athletic-wear brand Punishment Athletics. He also coached two seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
- Megyn Price Actress and comedian who currently stars on CBS’s “Rules of Engagement.” Previous series include “Grounded for Life” and “LateLine.”
- Kimora Lee Simmons Designer and fashion model. Starred in the Style Network’s “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane” and founded the clothing empire Baby Phat.
Last year’s winning celebrity driver, Brian Austin Green, will return this go-around to race in the Pro category. Other pros vying for the title include drifting champion Kenshiro Gushi, top import drag-racing professional and founder of WORLD Motorsports Christian Rado and USAC National midget car series champion Kody Swanson.
“As the crown jewel of celebrity race events for more than three decades, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has managed to transform dozens of celebrities into high-speed racers, while also changing the lives of children in need,” said Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager. “The race is a win-win for everyone; it gives fans a chance to see their favorite performers rush across a real racetrack while offering the celebrities an unparalleled opportunity to ‘give back’ to a worthwhile cause.”
Rounding out the field are charity auction winners Jerry Westlund, racing for his third year, and Karen Hanover. The final seat on the track, reserved each year for a Southern California Toyota dealer, is being filled by Mike Sullivan, owner of Toyota of Hollywood and Toyota of Santa Monica.
On behalf of each celebrity racer, Toyota donates $5,000 to Racing for Kids every year 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, (in this case, Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach and Children’s Hospital in Orange County, Calif.), was created as a way to connect sick children with their favorite celebrities and race-car drivers. Toyota has donated more than $1.9 million to various children’s hospitals since 1991, on behalf of this race and its participants.
Additionally, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 14th-annual “People Pole Award.” Sponsored by People magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on Friday, April 15.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, one of six main-event attractions taking place during the 37th-annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, go to http://www.toyotaracing.com/.