Toyota Pro/Celebrity race switching from Scion tC to FR-S [w/video]Thu, 07 Feb 2013 14:33:00 ESTToyota has announced that the rear-wheel-drive Scion FR-S will replace the front-wheel-drive Scion tC as the racecar used by actors, singers and celebrities of all grades in its annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. It's the first time a rear-drive vehicle has been used for the event in 27 years, with the tC having been in use since 2005, and the FWD Celica before that. This year's race takes place on April 20th amidst the festivities of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.
The racing FR-S, which debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show, won't be left stock either, but rather outfitted with a range of official Toyota Racing Development parts and equipment, such as a stainless steel exhaust, new coil overs and springs, upgraded brakes, a bigger air intake and 18-inch wheels, not to mention all of the safety equipment required to keep the celebrities and pro drivers safe. The company says the performance mods have lifted horsepower to 210 from the standard car's 200. Check out the build process for the cars in the video below to see just how much work's been done.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race is also about more than just letting celebrities and pros do battle on a road course. The spectacle helps raise money for "Racing for Kids," a non-profit charity that supports children's hospitals in the US.
Scion FR-S Named Official Race Vehicle for 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
Newly Modified FR-S Race Vehicle Makes its Debut at Chicago Auto Show
Readying the Scion FR-S for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 - Toyota Motorsports and Scion announced today that the Scion FR-S sports coupe will be the official vehicle of the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. This first Pro/Celebrity race-ready vehicle is making its debut here at the Chicago Auto Show.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will take place April 20 and mark the 37th anniversary of the charity event held annually as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. It also marks the first time in 27years that a rear-wheel drive sports car will serve as the designated race car.
"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."
The race-ready, identically-prepared FR-S cars will produce 210 horsepower, equipped with performance enhancements that include a range of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) products such as: stainless-steel exhaust, coil-over shocks and springs, big brake kit featuring Hawk Performance brake pads, performance air intake and 18 inch wheels. Other custom equipment includes a Centerforce single disc racing clutch, front MacPherson struts and a rear double wishbone suspension.
A build video shows the transformation of the FR-S into a race vehicle and highlights the painstaking process and level of detail that goes into each of the 25 race vehicles created for the event.
"The newly designed Scion FR-S sports coupes are being prepared to debut in time for the 37th anniversary of one of America's most entertaining motorsports events," said Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager. "Our participants should find it easy to celebrate this year's race theme – Revved Up to Race – sitting behind the wheel of a race-ready Scion FR-S. The drivers will compete for a chance to earn yearlong bragging rights and acknowledge charitable donations made on their behalf."
Launched in the summer of 2012 to rave reviews, the Scion FR-S has earned a cult following and significant accolades including being named Best of 2013 by Cars.com, earning a spot on Car and Driver's 10 Best List for 2013 and winning the first-ever Car of the Year Award from AutoGuide.com.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race has evolved into one of the longest-running corporate-sponsored events of its kind, pitting celebrities from music, sports and film against professional race drivers. The event benefits "Racing for Kids," a nonprofit, national fundraising program that supports children's hospitals throughout the United States.
Since 1977, Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race participants have included many Hollywood elites such as Keanu Reeves, Ashley Judd, Adrien Brody, Cameron Diaz, George Lucas, Queen Latifah and Jay Leno. Outside the red carpet, participants include former astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, NFL star John Elway, NBA All-Star Karl Malone, X Games Champion Tony Hawk, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton and twelve-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres.
Toyota has donated more than $2 million to the Racing for Kids organization since 1991 on behalf of the Pro/Celebrity race and its participants. In addition to Toyota's annual contributions, a $15,000 donation will be made in conjunction with the 16th annual "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.
To learn more about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, or view the build video showing the transformation of the FR-S into a race vehicle, go to www.toyotaracing.com, visit our Facebook page (Toyota Racing), follow us on Twitter @ToyotaRacing or join the conversation with the participants at #TPCR.
2013 Toyota Pro / Celebrity Scion FR-S Specifications
Type 4-cylinder, boxer type, 16-valve DOHC with Variable Valve Timing Control
Displacement 2.0L (121.9 Cu. In.)
Power 210 hp @ 7000 rpm
Induction Fuel Injection D-4S (Direct and Port Injection System) TRD Performance Air Intake
Bore X Stroke 86.0 mm X 86.0mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Fuel F&L racing fuel 100 octane unleaded
Exhaust TRD stainless-steel exhaust
Motor Oil Redline 0W20 synthetic
Transmission 6-speed manual with Redline MTL synthetic transmission fluid
Differential Limited-slip differential
Clutch Centerforce single-disc racing clutch
Body Scion FR-S
Graphics Vinyl graphics by Hukill Paint and Graphics
Type 4-wheel independent
Front MacPherson strut with TRD custom coil-over shocks and springs
Rear Double-wishbone with TRD custom coil-over shocks and springs
WHEELS AND TIRES
Wheels TRD 18 X 7.5 in.
Tires Bridgestone Potenza RE11, 225/40/18
Brakes 4-wheel disc with ABS and TRD big brake kit. Hawk Performance brake pads
Safety Full roll cage, Onboard fire system, Window net, 5-point seatbelts
Race Weight 2775 lb.
Wheelbase 101.2 in.
Overall Length 166.7 in.
Overall Width 69.9 in.
Overall Height 48.7 in.
Ground Clearance 3.0 in.
Track Width Front - 59.8 in., Rear - 60.6 in.
Fuel Capacity 13.2 gal.
By John Neff
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