Hefner named grand Marsahl for LBGP Pro/Celebrity race

PLAYBOY FOUNDER HUGH HEFNER TO BE GRAND MARSHAL AT 2007 TOYOTA PRO/CELEBRITY RACE LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 3, 2007) - Legendary Playboy founder Hugh Hefner will be surrounded by a bevy of female stars of film, television and sports when he ...


LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 3, 2007) - Legendary Playboy founder Hugh Hefner will be surrounded by a bevy of female stars of film, television and sports when he assumes the role of Grand Marshal of this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on Saturday, April 14, as part of the 33rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

It couldn't be a better time for the venerable ladies' man to lead the parade, since, for the first time ever, women make up almost half the field of 18 in this historic, 10-lap race for charity through a 1.97-mile street circuit through the downtown streets of Long Beach in Southern California. The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, one of six featured events during race weekend, gives fans a chance to see their favorite stars duke it out on the track during exciting action-packed competition.

Among the celebrity drivers is model and TV personality Kendra Wilkinson, best known as one of Hef's three live-in girlfriends in the E! reality TV series The Girls Next Door. Fans can log onto Hollywagers.com to see how professional race handicappers think Kendra and her fellow the celebrity drivers - including Cold Case's Kathryn Morris, Howard Stern's sidekick Robin Quivers, CSI: Miami's Emily Procter, tennis great Martina Navratilova, NBA legend John Salley and Star Wars' creator George Lucas, among others - stack up. [The odds have been presented solely for entertainment purposes exclusively by Hollywagers.com, powered by Pregame.com, the country's largest bet-centric information site. There will be no actual wagering on the outcome of the race.]

Hefner, who celebrates his 81st birthday on April 9, is a man who has profoundly influenced society in the last 50 years, during which Playboy has been the world's best-selling men's lifestyle magazine. Although born in Chicago, Hefner decided in 1975 to make Southern California his permanent home, reflecting the extent to which Hollywood movies had influenced his dreams and aspirations as a boy. Ever since, Hefner has tirelessly dedicated himself to a myriad of creative and philanthropic endeavors in his adopted community. In 1980, Hefner championed the reconstruction of the Hollywood sign - then in serious disrepair - and was honored by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his efforts. In saving the sign, Hefner referred to it as "Hollywood's Eiffel Tower." The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored him further with its first Annual Hollywood Hall of Fame Award as Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

"Hugh Hefner is a true California icon - and a racing fan - and we are pleased to have him as Grand Marshal of the 31st Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race," said Les Unger, Toyota's national motorsports manager. "Fans are going to be thrilled to hear him shout, 'Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Scion Engines!' and see him wave the green flag." Ticket and Race Information

Tickets for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, featuring six racing events including the second round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series, can be purchased from the Grand Prix ticket office by calling the toll-free ticket hotline at (888) 82-SPEED. A handy ticket brochure - which includes circuit map, grandstand and parking locations, ticket prices and order form - can be obtained by calling the ticket hotline. Tickets also are available online at www.longbeachgp.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Ticket prices range from $40 for Saturday general admission up to $120 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seats in the upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages also are available when ordering through the Grand Prix Ticket Office. Handicapped seating, Champ Car Garage passes, Super Photo Tickets and a variety of Hospitality Club packages are also available. About Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, LLC

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is owned and operated by the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, LLC, which is jointly owned by Champ Car co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe who purchased the company from Dover Motorsports Inc. in June 2005.

About Playboy and Hugh Hefner
Playboy Enterprises is a brand-driven, international multimedia entertainment company that publishes editions of Playboy magazine around the world; operates television networks and distributes programming globally; owns Playboy.com, a leading men's lifestyle and entertainment web site; and licenses the Playboy trademark internationally for a range of consumer products and services.

About Toyota Motorsports
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.'s motorsports activities focus on competing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, as well as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Grand American Sports Car Series and the USAC National Midget Car Series. Toyota is committed to motorsports at all levels including grassroots opportunities and premier racing events. Toyota has been a sponsor of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach since 1975, when it supplied the pace car for the original Grand Prix of Long Beach. It has been title sponsor of the event since 1980.

-credit: lbgp

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Series General
Drivers Kevin Kalkhoven