In what is destined to be another demolition derby (we’re looking at you, George Lucas), the speedy Scion FR-S will be the official vehicle of the annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
On April 20th, the Pro/Celebrity Race will occur during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, the 37th time since its conception in 1976. This also marks the first time in 27 years that a rear-wheel drive sports car will serve as the designated racecar.
"The transformation of the FR-S into a race vehicle is a dream come true for many die-hard FR-S fans, and we wanted to share the journey with consumers at the Chicago Auto Show," said Doug Murtha, Scion vice president. “Scion vehicles have been driven in the Pro/Celebrity race vehicle since 2005, and we can’t wait to see the rear-wheel drive FR-S race around the historic street course.”
To assure no pro or celebrity driver gets an unfair advantage (aside from the celebrities’ 30-length head start), every racing Scion FR-S has identical fittings. Each vehicle’s 4-cylinder, boxer engine produces 210 hp, with coil-over shocks and springs, a big brake kit featuring Hawk Performance brake pads, performance air intake, Centerforce single disc racing clutch, front MacPherson struts, and a rear double wishbone suspension.
You can watch the beauty unfold in a build video posted on YouTube, where famed drifter Ken Gushi discusses the process of equipping the FR-S for racing punishment.
In past races, celebrities such as Keanu Reeves, Ashley Judd, Adrien Brody, Cameron Diaz, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Tony Hawk, and the aforementioned George Lucas have driven to benefit “Racing for Kids,” a nonprofit fundraiser that supports children’s hospitals throughout the United States. Since 1991, Toyota has donated more than $2 million to “Racing for Kids” from the event. In keeping with its own 16-year tradition, People magazine will donate an additional $15,000 donation in honor of the winner of the event.
Who will win the Pro/Celebrity race is anyone’s guess, but the race is anything like 2007’s fiasco involving the Star Wars’ creator, be prepared to see some destruction.