Celebrity drivers for 2013 Long Beach Grand Prix announced

long beach grand prix - kate del castillo
Kate del Castillo checking out her car for the Long Beach Grand Prix race
adam carolla
Adam Carolla at the Long Beach Grand Prix

Want to see a group of Hollywood celebrities duke it out during the Long Beach Grand Prix?  You are in luck because the 2013 Toyota Pro Celebrity Race list of celebrities was recently announced.  The field of celebrity drivers competing this year is quite diverse and interesting too.  This full-fledged celebrity race will feature musicians, actors, athletes  and even a veteran of the US military.  Checkout the list of 14 celebrities who will be competing;

  • Cristian Castro: This Grammy Award-nominated and best-selling Mexican pop singer became famous at a young age and has been singing for 20 years.   Probably one of Cristian Castro’ts best known albums is “Mi Vida Sin Tu Amor,” with four singles in the top ten of Billboard’s Hot Latin tracks. In April, he will be releasing a new record “Primera Fila.”
  • Kate del Castillo: Mexico’s most acclaimed actress best known for her starring role in the long-running mini-series “La Reina del Sur.”  Kate del Castillo probably is not well known among English audiences but Googling her you most likley will become a fan.  Kate has also been in “Under the Same Moon,” “Trade” and had a guest appearance on the popular Showtime series “Weeds.”
  • Brett Davern: Not sure about this guy but apparently he is an Actor that was in an MTV show called “Awkward.” He has also been in some other TV shows such as “Cold Case,” “CSI: Miami,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Medium.”
  • Jenna Elfman: Probably best know for her role in the TV series “Dharma & Greg,” which she received a Golden Globe Award for.  Currently Jenna Elfman is starring in the comedy about the First Family living in the White House in “1600 Penn.”  She was also well known for the movie “Keeping the Faith” which is an awesome movie if you have not seen it.
  • Jessica Hardy:  An Olympis swimmer that earned a Bronze and Gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.  Jessica Hardy She currently holds the world records in the 50-meter breaststroke and the 100-meter breaststroke swimming events.  She is a native of Long Beach, CA and apparently does motivational speaking and served is an ambassador for the United States Olympic Committee Team For Tomorrow.
  • Jesse Metcalfe: This guy is best known for his role as a teen gardener on the ABC show “Desperate Housewives.  Currently Jesse Metcalfe is starring in the new “Dallas” on TNT which is based on the 1978 series of the same name.  He was also in some bad movies such as “John Tucker Must Die.”
  • Dakota Meyer: Is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp and served in Afghanistan.  Dakota Meyer received the Medal of Honor for his efforts while in combat. He wrote a book, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, fundraises with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the Hiring Our Heroes program.
  • Jackson Rathbone: Played Jasper Hale in the wildly popular (but wildly stupid and annoying) “Twilight” movie series.  He was also in the movie “The Last Airbender” which I don’t think anybody actually saw.
  • Michelle Rodriguez: I assume might do well in this celebrity race as she starred in the “The Fast and the Furious” movies.  She tends to play tough girl physical roles which has lead her to be in “Avatar,” the James Cameron sci-fi film.  Michelle Rodriguez will be in the new “Fast and Furious 6” movie with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson.  (Do they really need to make another one though?)
  • Jeremy Sisto: Actor best known for playing Billy Chenowith on the series “Six Feet Under.” Jeremy Sisto also played Detective Cyrus Lupo on “Law & Order” and currently stars in the series “Suburgatory.”
  • Mark Steines: Emmy award-winning journalist and host of the Hallmark Channel’s new how-to show, “Home & Family.” Mark Steines spent more than 17 years on “Entertainment Tonight,” establishing himself as a trusted and charismatic figure in entertainment news.
  • Wanda Sykes: Emmy award-winning comedian, writer and actress who ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America, but some (like myself) may not agree with that!  Wanda Sykes has hosted her own late night talk show, “The Wanda Sykes Show” (that was cancelled) and has appeared on TV shows including, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and films such as “Evan Almighty.”
  • Michael Trucco: Actor best known for playing Samuel Anders on SyFy’s channels acclaimed series “Battlestar Galactica” and Justin Patrick on the USA Network series “Fairly Legal.”  Michael Trucco TV credits include appearances on “Revenge,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “One Tree Hill.”
  • Rutledge Wood: Auto racing analyst that mainly covers NASCAR on Fox Sports/SPEED.  Rutledge Wood co-hosts the American version of Top Gear with Tanner Foust and Adam Ferrara.  Some would rather Top Gear be cancelled since the original BBC Top Gear is much better.  (That is fact and not an opinion.)

The 37th annual charity race will take place April 20, 2013 on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, CA.  The 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is part of the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (aka the Long Beach Grand Prix.)  The event is to benefit “Racing for Kids,” a national fundraising program supporting children’s hospitals throughout the United States.

long beach grand prix Kate del Castillo
Kate del Castillo checking out her car for the Long Beach Grand Prix race

Since 1991 the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization, on behalf of this race and its participants.  In addition to Toyota’s contributions, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 16thannual “People Pole Award.” Sponsored by People magazine, the award honors the pole-position winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race qualifying session on April 19.  So this celebrity race is not just for enjoyment but for a good cause.

“The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race thrills both the participants and the crowds while giving back to kids in our communities through donations to Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.” mentioned Les Unger, who is Toyota’s national motorsports manager.

There will be Pro racecar drivers competing against the stars and starlets for the chance to be crowned the celebrity winner of this interesting Long Beach Grand Prix racing event.  This includes motocross champion and MTV’s “Nitro Circus” star Andy Bell, the 2012 Toyota Pro Celebrity Race winner and comedian Adam Carolla who did well on the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary who is fast on the racetrack too, and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) driver Melanie Troxel.

These celebrity and pro racers will be driving brand new 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race car through the streets of Long Beach and should make for an interesting race.  To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Long Beach Grand Prix click here to visit the website.

Adam Yamada-Hanff
Adam has always loved cars and anything with wheels. When he is not writing about interesting stories you might find him jamming on his saxophone, watching movies, creating art, or playing with his two dogs.