Oscar-winning actors, tv show hosts, radio personalities and soap opera stars are among the celebrities who will compete against one-time NASCAR and Indy car drivers at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach next weekend.
Now in its 23rd year, the Pro/Celebrity Race held annually on Saturday of the racing weekend, is a charity event that since its inception had raised $2M for Racing for Kids, a national program supporting children’s hospitals. This year’s crop of participants took to the track Wednesday to practice driving the 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race cars before the race next week, several of whom had never before driven such a souped up vehicle.
Nick Wechsler, who plays Jack Porter on ABC’s Revenge, said he had never driven a manual transmission before he agreed to participate in the race.
“I was dragging my feet because I didn’t know if this was going to be my thing,” Wechsler told the media. “Now that I have done it, it is my thing … I love it.”
Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, Olympic track star Carmelita Jeter and Phil Keoghan, the host of The Amazing Race are some of the other high-profile participants this year who will go up against pro drivers such as former NASCAR racer Kyle Petty, Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. and last year’s Pro/Celebrity Race winner Rutledge Wood.
Other participants include:
- Eric Braeden, an Emmy Award-winning daytime star from The Young and the Restless
- High School Musical co-star Corbin Bleu, who was also the first runner-up in the 2013 fall season of Dancing with the Stars
- Brett Davern of MTV’s Awkward
- Colin Egglesfield, who’s known for his roles in Rizzoli & Isles, The Client List and Melrose Place
- Cole Hauser, whose acting credits include Transcendence, Olympus Has Fallen and A Good Day to Die Hard
- Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica and Burn Notice
- Vanessa Marcil, known for her roles on General Hospital and Las Vegas
- Lisa Stanley, an entertainment reporter for K-EARTH 101 FM
- Max Thieriot of Bates Motel
- Sam Witwer, who portrays vampire Aidan Waite on Being Human
Tickets to the Toytoa Grand Prix are available at gplb.com
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