Toyota prepares its FR-S for the annual star-studded charity support race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach is an American racing classic. It was once part of the Formula One championship, was campaigned by Champ Cars for over two decades and today is raced as an IndyCar event. But the open-wheelers aren't the only racers on the street circuit over the course of the weekend. The American Le Mans Series races there as well, as do Formula Drift and the Pirelli World Challenge. But the most star-studded part of the action comes with the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.
The exhibition event brings together professional racing drivers with Hollywood and athletic celebrities, pitting them against each other in a friendly competition taking place behind the wheel of identical machinery. As the main sponsor, Toyota has supplied the cars for the Pro/Celeb race for each of the past 37 years, but this will be the first time they'll use a rear-drive sportscar in 27 years.
That, as you might have guessed, comes down to the award-winning Scion FR-S (known as the Toyota GT86 in other markets), which Toyota Racing Development has tweaked for competition. The enhancements include upgraded exhaust, intake, clutch, suspension, brakes and 19-inch wheels. The car was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show this past weekend. Each of the 25 cars will be identically equipped, and while the entry list has yet to be announced, past years have included A-listers from Keanu Reeves to Queen Latifah and John Elway to Cameron Diaz. A donation will be made on the winner's behalf to the Racing for Kids foundation.