By on April 16, 2012

While a sad variety of forever-alone, anorak-clad, middle-aged Brits huddled in their so-called “council flats” to watch Nico Rosberg finally fail to fail to win a race, the attention of the world’s beautiful people was squarely centered on the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. This gala event pits people who (very, very loosely) fit the definition of “pros” and “celebrities” racing stock Scion TCs around a street course. Usually there is a huge crash, caused by some starlet’s implants getting too close to the steering wheel, and then a ragged collection of survivors shuffle-steers their way to a finish only slightly more strung-out than some of the “celebrities” are when they have to wake up before noon.

This year, the question on everybody’s lips was: Do you have any coke? It is also possible, however, that someone was interested in how the stars of “Top Gear USA” and “The Car Show” would do in an actual race. This notion — that people who are being paid to talk about cars on television should have some experience driving them at speed — is so ridiculous that it takes a moment to sink in. It’s also possible that someone was wondering: “In a race between a professional drifter and actor William Fichtner, who would win?”

We have the answers to both these questions, both after the jump and in the headline you’ve already read.

Alright. The important thing to understand is that “professional drivers” start 30 seconds behind the rest of the field. So, although it appears that “pro drifter” Frederic Asabo barely beat “celebrity” Rutledge Wood, in fact it was a 30-second ass-whipping.

The ass-whipping Adam Carolla put on Rutledge, however, was almost as bad: six seconds and change in a ten-lap race. The second-place celebrity, Hill Harper, plays a doctor on CSI. The third-place celebrity was, um, a Toyota dealer. So Adam Carolla was both the overall winner and the “celebrity” winner.

The “pro” winner was drifter Frederic Asabo, who was about six seconds ahead of William Fichtner. Mr. Fichtner, who played Roger Van Zant in the second-best movie of all time, “Heat”. Remember that time when Henry Rollins was all like, “You’re gonna make a deal with these people?” and Fichtner was all like, “The word’s out on the street it’s okay to steal my stuff? I’m gonna kill the sons of bitches!” That was awesome. You might think that Fichtner is a “pro” because of that scene, but he is actually a “pro” because he won the race last year.

Other notable particpants: Adrien Brody, and, um, nobody.

So, what we learned?

  • Car Show beats TGUSA. But you knew they would.
  • Drifters are slightly better at racing than people who don’t race.
  • Toyota dealers are celebrities.

That’s all, folks! See you next year!

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28 Comments on “Complete Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Results: “Car Show” Smashes “Top Gear USA”, Pro Driver Beats Roger Van Zant...”


  • avatar
    PintoFan

    What time do you think you could have put up?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I have no idea. I would not personally expect to lose that particular event, whether I started from 30 seconds back or not… but on the other hand, I would probably want to finish right next to Adrien so we could talk about “Predators” right after the race.

  • avatar
    Boff

    What a weak collection of celebrities (and pros). Just how much does this exemplify how far IndyCar has fallen since the best days of AOWR? Adrien Brody rocks, though.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Wonder if they’ll be racing Scion FRS cars next year.

  • avatar
    pharmer

    Rutledge Wood annoys me to no end…and let’s all hope that TGUSA doesn’t come back next year. I don’t think their ratings were great. Apparently people don’t want to see 3 obnoxious idiots doing half-assed retreads of stuff from the BBC series.

    • 0 avatar

      As much as you can tell from a meet and greet, in person they’re not obnoxious. Foust may play a jerk on tv but in person he’s a regular car guy. I spent about ten minutes talking cars with him. Wood is also a nice guy in person. I didn’t really talk to Adam much but it was clear that the three of them have some chemistry.

    • 0 avatar

      yea, instead of just *not watching the show*, lets all hope that TGUSA doesn’t come back for another season so that those of us that DO watch don’t get to. contrary to your “i don’t think…”, ratings rose 30% for the second season because the show is improving and is actually entertaining to some of us who don’t jack off to jeremy clarkson.

      on a side note, “richard hammond’s crash course” looks to be an entertaining show as well.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Adrien Brody knows the key to being a successful celebrity racer is to wear large sunglasses.

    I was wondering two things after reading this article:

    1. How hard did Toyota try to get Patrick Dempsey?
    2. Just how loud and long did Dempsey laugh in their faces?

  • avatar

    Jack’s just jealous of Adrien Brody.

  • avatar
    Byron Hurd

    We need a battle-of-the-blogs race that isn’t just a GMlopnik circle-jerk. That way at least *we* can all appreciate the nobodies who beat other nobodies.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Skip Barber tried to do that two and a half years ago… any journo with a comp license could race for free at Laguna Seca. Two journos showed up. I was one of them :)

  • avatar
    Slare

    I don’t watch either show much but isn’t Wood sort of the schmoe of Top Gear?

  • avatar
    jaje

    Jack – I haven’t watched the F1 race (on DVR) yet as I was at a race this weekend and this spoiled the race for me :(

    Then Adam Rutledge drives like James May of TG USA and versus Adam Carolla who actually frequently races – that’s not an apples to apples comparison. I say have Adam face off versus Tanner – or simply the fact that TG USA wasn’t canceled might be more telling.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      This is a classic example of abusers passing the misery along. I had a friend who, while I had my son at a birthday party on Sunday, put “OMG ROSBERG FTW” or something as his status.

      I pledge to you, all F1 spoilers will be held 24 hours from now on!

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        No problemo…I run this risk all the time and go into media blackout at times. Just too tired to watch the race late sunday night when I got back home (did watch quals so was not oblivious he could win).

        I’m starting to like TG USA – Tanner is a little awkward at times, but Rutledge seems to be hitting a groove at times where he’s actually somewhat entertaining. The only person I have trouble caring about is Ferrara – just doesn’t fit but the limo episode with the pope mobile was his best part. I just don’t fit his demographic I guess.

        The Car Show was terrible. All it was was Adam talking for 75% of the show and I just don’t think he is that funny post Man Show. I do like he’s really interested in cars and admire that (though he can afford the stuff I want so I’m partially jealous too).

      • 0 avatar
        hurls

        The key to avoiding the spoiler is to drive home From the ALMS race and just staying up to watch the F1

        Which is an obtuse way of saying “I was there for this race”. I will admit that I spent the allotted pro-am time in the beer tent, but can attest that the scions sounded like crap. Unlike the ALMS corvette racing cars, which are making me seriously consider a mid-life crisis. Because…damn…they sound like the gates of hell opening up when the come down the front straight.

        Jack, you should really write a race review column on here. It would be more fun than all the F1 anoraks I read…

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        I’d wait until you hear the new ALMS Vipers before acting on that mid life crisis.

    • 0 avatar
      CurseWord

      Well the problem there is Tanner is a full on pro. He would likely wax Carolla. I think Matt Farah beat Adam around Laguna Seca when they drove the BMW 330i, so I doubt Carolla could take down Tanner. Tanner may be a TV host now, but he was a professional driver for a long time before that. I think this just shows that outside Carolla, in the USA, the herd of automotive TV people isn’t that strong.

      • 0 avatar
        mattfarah

        I beat Adam by 6 seconds around Laguna Seca in a standing start, single-lap race in the BMW 330i. As much as I like the guy, I’m convinced I could beat him in this race, no problem. Jack, that’s a different story. But I’d love to try.

      • 0 avatar
        mattfarah

        I beat Adam by 6 seconds around Laguna Seca in a standing start, single-lap race in the BMW 330i. I also beat him by 2 seconds around Big Willow in a Porsche Cayenna Turbo while he drove the BMW X5M. I then beat him in a Dodge Charger SRT8 when he couldn’t keep the Mustang GT he was driving on the track. I then beat him in a Boss 302 Laguna when he couldn’t keep the BMW M3 on the track. As much as I like the guy, I’m convinced I could beat him in this race, no problem. Jack, that’s a different story. But I’d love to try.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Talk to your pals at DRIVE, let’s set it up :)

  • avatar
    Slab

    I’m really surprised that Adam Carolla won. Watching “The Car Show” last season convinced me he was a real blowhard, albeit an entertaining blowhard.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    “In a race between a professional drifter and actor William Fichtner, who would win?”
    Whoever wins, we lose.

  • avatar
    Matt Fink

    Top Gear was averaging over 2 million viewers an episode, compared to less than 250,000 for The Car Show. Maybe that’s why they’ve already had a 3rd season. In person, Rutledge is a cool guy from my experience at a NASCAR race last year. I’m a big fan of Top Gear USA, they don’t make it like Rutledge is actually reviewing cars for us. It’s clear Tanner is the “driver”.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Wait, the American Top Gear is still on the History Channel or Bravo or wherever? Wow.

    If Jillian Barberie Reynolds is the loudmouth blond that was on “Good Day Live” or something, I vaguely know who she is. I think she did NFL pre-game stuff too.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    God I was hoping TGUSA was gonna get cancelled. Don’t tell me there’ll be another season of them trashing decent older cars in more weak attempts at entertainment. How about FIXING one for a change? Fuckers.


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