Published: Apr 9, 2013
Oriol Servia's first start on the streets of Long Beach was in
Indy Lights in 1998. On April 21, he'll make his 12th start in the
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - nearly one-third of the Indy car
races on the seaside circuit.
"It's been such a big race forever and such a big part of my
career. Every year it gets better," said Servia, who has a best
finish of second (2007, advancing 12 positions). "I really want to
Servia was part of media day for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race,
which will be held April 20.
"It's good when the sport reaches outside from our normal fans
and characters," he said. "It's always cool to see which celebs get
better through practice. I gave a couple tips last year to Adam
Carolla, not that he needed any, and he won so I think he's here to
win it again."
Click it: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Servia, driving the No. 22 Chevrolet-powered car for
Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, has started with 17th- and
15th-place finishes this season.
"Everyone is seeing how competitive it is because the field is
so tight," he said. "On our side, we were having a great race at
St. Petersburg; we led 16 laps and had a great pace until we had a
little electronic problem.
"Alabama didn't go that we'll because we got involved in a
first-lap crash that really hindered our chances to do well, but
we're really excited here. We have a great street setup."
Competing in the 37th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race:
Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, who will serve as grand
marshal of the IZOD IndyCar Series race, heads the list of
participants in the race. Meyer, a U.S. Marine, received the Medal
of Honor for his 2009 actions in Afghanistan.
Also competing will be actors Jenna Elfman, Kate del Castillo,
Brett Davern, Jesse Metcalfe, Michael Trucco, Jackson Rathbone and
Jeremy Sisto; journalist Mark Steines; Olympic swimming medalist
Jessica Hardy; comedian Wanda Sykes; SPEED host Rutledge Wood.
Pro drivers competing against the stars for the title include
Olympic swimming gold medalist Tyler Clary, motocross champion Andy
Bell, 2012 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race winner and comedian Adam
Carolla and National Hot Rod Association driver Melanie Troxel.
Clary, who took his first laps in a Scion FR-S, said his biggest
challenge was finding the right line through the hairpin turn.
After the session, the Skip Barber Racing School INDYCAR Academy
participant climbed into the cockpit (left) of an IZOD IndyCar
Series show car "just for size."
"Dancing with the Stars" professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy
will be the grand marshal of the event.