The start of a new season raises thoughts of the prospects it brings. All the changes to come. So many possibilities. The sights, the sounds (or lack of), the smells. The ugly noses!
What?!? Spring? No, I meant the 2014 season of Formula One that kicked-off in Melbourne, Australia, the weekend before last. It’s a new era for the sport with massive technical changes signalling a move towards more advanced power-trains to increase the relevance to road cars. And ugly noses.
Naturally when considering the opening of a new fight for the F1 World Championship (and very much NOT the ugly noses) one’s mind turns to Kathryn. No? Just me then?
Seven years go (that’s 2007 for those thinking about taking their socks off at this point) Kathryn was invited to take part in a Pro/Celebrity Race which features at the Long Beach Grand Prix each April. The event is backed by Toyota and is run to raise money for the Racing For Kids charity which supports children’s hospitals in the area.
March 17th was where those taking part that year met for initial training in handling a car on a race track. With Kathryn were tennis legend Martina Navratilova, X-Games star Dave Mirra, actor/singer Joshua Morrow (The Young And The Restless), ‘model’ Kendra Wilkinson, actress Kelly Hu (Arrow), actress Aisha Tyler (Friends), radio personality Robin Quivers (The Howard Stern Show), film director George Lucas (Star Wars), and actress Emily Procter (CSI: Miami).
The training was done at the Willow Springs International Raceway in California using the same Toyota Scion tC cars that were used in the race. The Scion range is only sold in North America, though in some cases the cars are available elsewhere in the world under different names. The front engined, front wheel drive Scion tC was the model used for the Pro/Celeb races from 2006 to 2012 and has been replaced by the FR-S (aka the more racey rear wheel drive Toyota 86/GT86/FT86). If you want to you can follow in Kathryn’s wheel tracks without even leaving your sofa as the Willow Springs circuit features in the PlayStation 3 game Gran Turismo 6. The Scion tC doesn’t. George Lucas has a history with the track. No, it wasn’t used for the podrace in SW: Episode 1, it is where he made one of his first films: 1:42.08. Also, the British TV show Top Gear filmed a segment there in 2013 which saw the presenters chased by aeroplanes. Silly boys.
The 2014 Long Beach Grand Prix is due to take place on Sunday the 13th of April. This year the likes of Adrien Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Corbin Bleu (High School Musical), Lilly Rush’s half-brother on Cold Case Brett Davern, and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) are getting behind wheel for charity.
Sartorial elegance was not the order of the day but Kathryn still looked adorable as further shown in 12 new photos from the training day. We also have 2 small videos. One is brief interviews with some of the guest drivers. The other is just general footage from the day, which doesn’t noticeably feature Kathryn until the very end. They’ve all been added to the existing set in the KM UK Gallery.