ALFONSO RIBEIRO TAKES FINAL CHECKERED FLAG IN BACK-TO-BACK
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2016) — Alfonso Ribeiro won the 2016 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, triumphing overthe most accomplished field the annual charity racing event has ever seen. The roaring crowd witnessed the stunning performance by Ribeiro, who started the race in the 8th position and successfully avoided any collisions or walls to takethe checkered flag.
Ribeiro, now a four-time Toyota Pro/Celebrity winner (1994, 1995 & 2015), is best-known for his role as ‘Carlton’ on
“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Ribeiro, who is the new host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” had the fastest lap of the
day with a time of 1:42.102.
Ribeiro started in the middle of the field, but in just two laps passed seven drivers, including Dara Torres, 12-time
Olympic Medalist, and Adam Carolla, comedian and radio personality, to secure the lead. Just as the race was beginning
to heat up on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, yellow flags were thrown.
“I turned the corner and had about five hundredths of a thousandth of a millisecond to react, and there was nothing much I
could do,” said Sean Patrick Flanery, actor best known for his role in “Boondock Saints.”
Flanery collided with two other cars when rounding turn eight, a pile-up that included Brett Davern, who plays ‘Jake
Rosati' on MTV’s “Awkward,” and Bob Carter, senior vice president of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales,
Davern, upon taking turn eight, had hit the tire barriers, and Carter who was right behind him, hit Davern’s rear quarter
“I knew when I saw his car, and could read his name, that I was unfortunately going to hit him,” said Carter.
While pulling the damaged vehicles off the track under a local yellow flag, the field came around turn eight, and Flanery,
looking to pass “Mad Max” Papis, former Champ Car driver, after the turn, ended up rear-ending Carter.
Race officials threw the red flag, stopping the race in order to clear the track of vehicles and debris, and ensure all drivers
and track personnel were safe before continuing with the historical race.
Ribeiro, already having obtained the lead was pursued heavily by Papis, with Rod Millen, 5-time Toyota Pikes Peak
Unlimited winner, riding his tail. This trio rounded out the top three finishers. Carolla, started and finished in fourth
“At the end of the day this is all about the children, ‘Racing For Kids’ is what it’s all about, and everyone here understands
that,” said Carter.
Millen added, “I’m just happy to be here, and to race with all these awesome people, who are all champions.”
“The pace of this race was extremely fast and the drivers were very competitive at the start,” said President and CEO of
the Grand Prix Association Jim Michaelian. “There was some exciting action in the field that had the fans on their feet,
and we are glad everyone will walk away unscathed. Congratulations to Alfonso Ribeiro on his victory. A special thanks
to all this year’s participants who helped make the final race exciting. All their enthusiasm is, ultimately, for a great cause,
and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race was proud to be able to make it happen one last time.”
Toyota will donate $5,000 to Racing for Kids in the name of each participant, for a total of $100,000, and an additional
$5,000 to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts on behalf of Ribeiro. Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is a national nonprofit program
benefiting infants, children and teens with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease
through the gift of reconstructive surgery.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is scheduled to be broadcast on CBS Sportsnet on May 8 at 6 PM ET, and will re-air
numerous times. (Check your local listings for details)
Fans can follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB (#TPCR40)
and Instagram at ToyotaGPLB.
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Note: Motorcycle Hall of Famer Eddie Lawson, involved in a single-car incident in Lap 1, was transported as a precaution
to St. Mary Medical Center for evaluation.
FINAL RACE RESULTS
Kelsey Duckett Sadina Zaccari
Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
Pos Name Laps Time
1 Alfonso Ribeiro 10 31:24.954
2 Max Papis 10 31:29.826
3 Rod Millen 10 31:34.736
4 Adam Carolla 10 31:36.864
5 Mike Skinner 10 31:37.098
6 Ken Gushi 10 31:37.595
7 Frankie Muniz 10 31:37.836
8 Jimmy Vasser 10 31:38.724
9 Ricky Schroder 10 31:39.184
10 Al Unser Jr. 10 31:44.375
11 Rutledge Wood 10 31:47.375
12 Dave Pasant 10 31:48.843
13 William Fichtner 10 31:49.382
President of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Inc. Worked with Mike Hollander since Tapsis, Compuserve, etc. and has posted to the website since the beginning. First Female photo-journalist to be given a garage and pit pass for the NASCAR garage, 1972 at Ontario Motor Speedway. One of first seven female writers, photographers given access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage and pits in 1971. Past President of Greater Los Angeles Press Club, 1992-96, and first female editor of the 8-Ball publication for the Press Club