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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Mar 14 2013, 1:31 PM

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The 37th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will kick off on April 20, 2013 in downtown Long Beach, and the field of racers piloting the 210-hp Scion FR-S have been announced.

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 |  Jan 22 2013, 8:15 PM

At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Scion will debut a special FR-S that will be used in the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach celebrity race this April.

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 |  Apr 16 2012, 7:32 PM

Having finished third and ninth place in prior Pro Celebrity races, Adam Carolla was determined to claim the top podium spot at the 36th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

Carolla, known as a comedian and host of The Car Show grabbed the lead from Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates on lap three in the ten lap race. Thanks to a pair of accidents involving Eddie Cibrian, Brody Jenner, Coates and Adrian Brody, Carolla had a smooth ride up until the last lap and a half when CSI: New York star Hill Harper came up on his rear bumper.

“I didn’t know how good this would feel,” Carolla said after his victory. “It’s awesome.”

Harper turned in the best lap of the day out of the celebrities with a time of 1:48.021, but it wasn’t good enough to take the top spot from the consistent and experienced Carolla.

The race ended in one of its closest finishes ever, with Harper coming in a mere 0.766 seconds short. Third place was far behind with Biff Gordon lagging more than five seconds.

The top female celebrity driver to finish the race was Kate del Castillo in 10th place.

[Source: Press Telegram]

 |  Mar 19 2012, 12:31 PM

It turns out that OnStar isn’t just used for helping  yourself or your vehicle. Today OnStar is reporting that many use the system to help others in need.

According to OnStar’s statistics, there are quite a few “Good Samaritan calls” in which an OnStar user calls to report another drivers situation that needs assistance. This includes things like helping drivers who have been in an accident or have a flat tire. Some even use OnStar to respond to Amber Alerts.

In honor of the good deeds of OnStar users, there will be a program launched later this year to recognize those who have shown good Samaritan efforts. Additional details will be coming at a later date.

Here is the list and numbers of America’s Top 10 Cities making Good Samaritan calls. It’s very interesting to note that these are among some of the most congested cities in America as well. Maybe some of these calls occur right in gridlock.

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 |  Mar 11 2012, 2:01 PM

Each year, the city of Long Beach, California gets transformed into a motorsports-themed environment to make way for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. To kick off the festivities annually is the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and this year’s lineup of drivers has just been announced.

The celebrities that will be piloting Scion tCs through the streets of downtown Long Beach this year include Jillian Barberie Reynolds, Adrien Brody, Adam Carolla, Kate del Castillo, Eddie Cibrian, Kim Coates, Eileen Davidson, Hill Harper, Brody Jenner, Scott Porter, Bill Rancic, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, and host of Top Gear USA Rutledge Wood. The mix of actors, actresses, tv personalities, and more will race through the 10-lap, 1.97-mile street circuit on April 14th.

This year’s pros will include Scion drifter, Fredric Aasbø, former USAC National Midget champion and 2012 driver of Toyota-powered USAC teams, Bryan Clauson, and Grammy award-winning record producer and owner of Rebel Rock Racing, Jim Jonsin. Lastly, joining the field are charity auction winners Doug Fregin (co-founder of Research in Motion) and nightclub owner Jerry Westlund. Each year, Toyota also dedicates a spot for a Southern California Toyota dealer employee and this year that will be Biff Gordon, general manager of Quality Toyota in Corona.

Each participant will have $5,000 donated to Racing for Kids on behalf of Toyota and another $5,000 will go to the winning racer’s charity of choice. A $15,000 donation will also be made in conjunction with the 15th-annual “People Pole Award” sponsored by People magazine.

 |  Mar 02 2012, 5:31 PM

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The first 86 people in North America to own a Scion FR-S are pretty lucky as it is, but their deal just got a lot sweeter thanks to some VIP treatment from Toyota.

Apparently the privileged few who managed to get an order in ahead of the masses also get an expenses-paid trip to Long Beach, Calif. in April to sit front row at Formula Drift. They also get to have dinner with Scion vice president Jack Hollis which includes a Q&A session.

Sure, the stripped-down version isn’t making it to American soil, but this is arguably a better reward for enthusiasts than offering a tuner-specific package.

It’s especially cool that this came as a surprise, though the majority of people lining up to buy an FR-S probably feel jealous if not disappointed.

Despite this, it seems an official price is still under wraps, though we’ll make a lot of noise once word gets out.

GALLERY: 2013 Scion FR-S

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Discuss this story at FR-SForum.com

 |  Apr 17 2011, 4:00 PM

Thanks to the amazing technology of the interwebs fans of the SCCA’s World Challenge series no longer have to wait several weeks to watch a replay of the race on the official NASCAR network SPEED Channel. In fact, World Challenge races aren’t even on SPEED any more, but on Versus.

Regardless, so far this season the series has broadcast all of its races live online at www.world-challengeTV.com. That goes for today’s race too, which takes place at Long Beach.

Fans of the series won’t need any reason to check it out, or an explanation, but in case you’re not a World Challenge fan, the series is made up of three classes TC, GTS and GT, with sports cars of all shapes and sizes competing alongside each other, ranging from Honda Civics to Dodge Vipers. Plus, there’s a standing start, which is always good for some drama.

Qualifying has already taken place with all three winners from the last race taking the podium in their respective categories. These include Patrick Long in his Porsche GT3 in the GT Class, Jason von Kluge in his Ford Mustang Boss 302S in the GTS Class and Lawson Aschenbach in his Honda Civic Si in the TC Class.

Today’s race starts at 7 p.m. Eastern or 4 Pacific and we highly recommend you check it out at www.world-challengeTV.com. Plus, you can even catch up on the season so far with the previous two races available for your viewing pleasure.

An Inside Look at Tyler McQuarrie’s World-Challenge Lotus Exige S [Video]

Three Lotus Exiges may run in next World Challenge race at Mosport

 |  Apr 23 2010, 12:17 PM

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After his dominating World-Challenge GTS performance at Long Beach in the LPL/DRS Lotus Exige 240 S, Tyler McQuarrie sent us a highly entertaining GoPro HD helmet cam clip from qualifying. Check it out after the jump.

We also noticed our friends over at The Octane Report just posted a full story on McQuarrie’s glorious Long Beach weekend (although things didn’t go quite so well for him in Formula D), including an informative video with interview footage of McQuarrie prior to the race (available after the jump).

Rumors are also now swirling over on LotusTalk.com that McQuarrie and the LPL/DRS Exige S will make another appearance at the next World-Challenge event coming up on May 21st to 23rd at Mosport International Raceway near Toronto, Canada. The online chatter also suggests that LPL may have up to three Lotus Exige S’s running at Mosport, giving McQuarrie some teammates to work with at this fastest road course in North America.

[Sources: Tyler McQuarrie; Octane Report]

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 |  Apr 19 2010, 10:26 AM

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Tyler McQuarrie, best known for his sideways style in the Formula D professional drifting series, proved his versatility as a racing driver by dominating the Toyo Tires World Challenge GTS class at Long Beach throughout the weekend in the LPL/DRS/Switcars/LCS/Dayco/M&T Lotus Exige 240 S. McQuarrie’s win was made all the more impressive by the fact that this was the World Challenge debut for both the car and the driver.

Having out-qualified class points leader P.D. Cunningham and his famous Realtime Racing Acura TSX, McQuarrie started on pole and got a jump on the field on the first lap. Shortly after the green flag dropped, Cunningham made contact with another car and had his Acura’s hood open into the windshield on lap one, forcing him into the pits and ending any challenge the Series’ all-time wins leader could have given McQuarrie.

“I had a great start and actually got by a couple of GT cars,” McQuarrie said. “I didn’t have a working radio in the race, so I didn’t actually realize who was behind me. I looked up at the screen on the second lap and saw one of the Acuras head to the pits with the hood up. I dialed it back just a little bit when I felt I could.”

“I have to really thank the LPL and DRS team. They only got this car about five weeks ago and really did a fantastic job with it. To be able to run it here at Long Beach—to run both weekends, is really awesome. I think April in Long Beach is a little bit like May in Indy. It’s a special time and to win here is just awesome.”

The GTS win was the first time a Lotus had won a race of any kind at Long Beach since Mario Andretti won the 1977 Formula One event in a John Player Lotus.

Acura/RealTime Racing’s Esayian finished a distant second to McQuarrie in the No. 34 Acura TSX for his third podium finish in as many races and GTS points leader Cunningham finished 6th after the early incident with his hood.

[source: World Challenge]

 |  Jul 14 2009, 5:50 PM

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Last year Chevrolet announced that it would retire its GT1 Corvette Racing team after dominating the class for close to a decade. In its place Chevy would run a lower-level GT2 team in a class that has become increasingly competitive.

This year the GT1s still ran in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) during the season opener at Sebring and then at Long Beach before heading off to France to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There the team did Corvette Racing justice, taking the top spot on the podium in the last race the GT1 C6Rs would ever see. It also marked an astounding six class wins at Le Mans for Corvette Racing.

Now Corvette Racing has announced plans to return to the series on August 6th at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Two cars will take to the field to battle it out with Ferraris, Porsches and Vipers. Both cars will be piloted by familiar drivers, with Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen forming one team and Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin forming the other.

“For several years now, the competition in GT2 has been the closest and most competitive among all our classes,” said ALMS CEO Scott Atherton. “With the news of Corvette Racing’s official entry into the category at Mid-Ohio, the class quite possibly becomes the most diverse and competitive ever. It also serves as another example of the continued growth and success of the American Le Mans Series. Corvette never truly left, but it’s safe to say that they were missed by the countless participants at our Corvette Corrals and fans worldwide. We would like to be the first to officially say, ‘Welcome back!’”

The two car Corvette Racing GT2 team will race for the first time at Mid-Ohio from August 6-8th.

[Source: American Le Mans Series]