Centerforce is an official supplier of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach

April 8, 2015

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of America’s finest motorsports events. It has a long and illustrious history of hosting essentially every top-tier open-wheel racing series, from Formula 1 to CART to Indy.

Since 1977, one of the Grand Prix’s main draws has been the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. This event pits celebrities against pro drivers in street-based cars to compete for charity. A crowd favorite, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race raises money for children’s hospitals in Long Beach and nearby Orange County. Centerforce is pleased to announce continuing support of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race as the official clutch sponsor.

Centerforce worked with engineers from Toyota Motorsports to spec a Scion FR-S clutch that would stand up to the abuse of a 10-lap wheel-to-wheel race and provide easy engagement for drivers of varying skill levels. This in and of itself was no mean feat. Centerforce ultimately succeeded in creating a clutch with plenty of bite, progressive engagement, and stock-like pedal effort.

Features include Centerforce’s patented ball-bearing pressure plate and a dual puck/light metal disc. Centerforce engineered the clutch to maximize the race FR-Ss’ other modifications, which include stickier tires, a roll cage, intake and exhaust. The cars are good for approximately 210 hp and have confidence-inspiring grip that allows racers to really trust the car.

“Centerforce is proud to be a long-term product sponsor and partner with Toyota Motorsports,” said company General Manager Bryan Wilson. “This year, the celebrities will again be racing the popular Scion FR-S. These drivers are very competitive, and they demand that their cars perform flawlessly. Centerforce will once again supply patented Dual Friction clutch assemblies for the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix Celebrity Race series. For more than 20 years, Toyota Motorsports has put their trust in Centerforce Clutches.”

From the beginning of the Pro/Celebrity Race in 1977 until 2005, the competitors drove showroom-stock Toyota Celicas. From 2006 through 2012, drivers raced Scion tCs, and from 2013 through to the present they have utilized the exciting rear-wheel drive Scion FR-Ss.

The FR-S represents the return of the affordable, rear-wheel drive sports car and has been tremendously popular since its introduction in 2013. It features a 2.0L boxer four-cylinder engine, is available with a six-speed manual transmission, and weighs around 2,800 pounds. This makes the FR-S the perfect tool for this year’s crop of pro and celebrity racers to hit the track.

The 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach promises to continue its rich tradition of bringing exciting wheel-to-wheel road racing to the streets of Long Beach and, as always, the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race should prove to be a thrilling spectacle thanks to the hard work of sponsor companies such as Centerforce.