Following LeAnn Rimes’ performance, stars from film, television, music and sports will get behind the wheels of identically prepared, race-ready Toyota Scion tCs to drive the historic 10-lap, 1.97-mile street circuit through the streets of downtown Long Beach, Calif.
Some of the drivers participating in the race—which is the world’s longest-running and most prestigious celebrity racing event—include Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, Mexican superstar Kate del Castillo, reality star Brody Jenner, former UFC champion Cain Velasquez and actor Eddie Cibrian, who is Ms. Rimes’ husband. Also racing will be Hill Harper, Bill Rancic and Christopher Meloni.
“We are honored that LeAnn Rimes has agreed to sing the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ before the race—and the fans trackside will be thrilled to have the opportunity to hear her perform,” said Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager. “Her participation here will help bring even more attention to the cause we at Toyota hold dear: children’s hospitals and Racing for Kids.”
The celebrity drivers all receive on-the-track training to prepare for the glory of race day. In addition to the excitement of participation, this event benefits children in need. 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. Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization since 1991, on behalf of the race and its participants. The two specific children’s hospitals that benefit from the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race are Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., and Children's Hospital of Orange County.
In addition to Toyota’s contributions, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 15th-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 13.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, one of six main-event attractions taking place during the 38th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, go to www.toyotaracing.com.