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Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Race Fans Will Help Pick Winner of EZ Lube Team Drift Challenge.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- For what is believed to be the first time ever, fans attending the 33rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 13-15, will be able to help determine the winner of a major, points-paying motorsports event.

Thanks to Verizon Wireless, fans can "text2vote" - from any make of cell phone - their choice for the winner of the EZ Lube Team Drift Challenge, matching seven teams of three Formula Drift Championship drivers each in the three-day competition. The team winner will be decided after the final round of competition ends at 3:40 p.m. Sun., April 15.

Details will be available to fans attending the race via printed handouts and announcements on the p.a. system and giant vision board TVs.

The inaugural Long Beach Team Drift event, part of the Formula Drift Championship Series Presented by Circuit City, is the first of four such events to be held in conjunction with Champ Car World Series races in 2007. Others will be held June 8-10 (Portland, Ore.), June 22-24 (Cleveland, Ohio) and July 27-29 (San Jose, Calif.).

The teams and drivers competing in the inaugural EZ Lube Team Drift Challenge at Long Beach are:
 TEAM FF3 - Tanner Foust, Samuel Hubinette, Rich Rutherford,

 TEAM DRIFT ALLIANCE - Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chris Forsberg, Tony
 Angelo, Ryan Tuerck,

 TEAM DRIFT PRO - Yoshie Shuyama, Hiro Sumida, Taka Aono,

 TEAM MILANO - Chris Milano, Hubert Young, Dan Pina,

 TEAM JIC/ROCKSTAR - Kenji Yamanaka, Tyler McQuarrie, Dai Yoshihara,

 TEAM SUPER RAMEN ALL STARS - Ken Gushi, Conrad Grunewald, Quoc Ly,
 Robbie Nishida, and

 TEAM X/TEAM MAZDA, which has yet to announce its drivers.


Unique in motorsports, Formula Drift is a judged competition based on speed, style and precision driving as the cars "drift" sideways through turns. The EZ Lube Team Drift Challenge will run all three days of the Grand Prix race weekend. Other races to be run during the weekend include the 31st Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and American Le Mans Series on Saturday, April 14, and the Imperial Capital Bank Champ Car Atlantic Race, SPEED World Challenge GT, and the featured Champ Car World Series on Sunday.

Non-racing activities during the weekend will be headed by the weekend-long Tecate Cool Zone entertainment celebration. The Tecate Cool Zone hosts the annual Tecate Fiesta Friday Concert presented by Super Estrella on the concert stage at 6 p.m. April 13, starring Rock En EspaSol rockers Enanitos Verdes. On Saturday, the Tecate Rock-N-Roar Concert Presented by the World Famous KROQ will feature Taking Back Sunday and immediately be followed by the Tecate Miss Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pageant.

Ticket prices for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach begin at $40 for a Saturday-only general admission ticket that includes admission to all the day's race events and the concert. Available for $120 is the three-day ticket option, which includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating on upper levels of the grandstands. Limited pre-paid parking packages are available and can be purchased when ordering tickets.

In addition to the downtown walk-up service at 430 E. First Street in Long Beach, tickets can be ordered via credit card by using the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.longbeachgp.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

-TGPLB-
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 5, 2007
Words:545
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