As part of their CT 200h launch, Lexus Australia will be sponsoring the Celebrity Challenge race during the 2011 F1 Australian Grand Prix:
The Lexus CT 200h Celebrity Challenge will feature 27 all-new Lexus CT 200h hybrids racing around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit this March.
Significantly, the Celebrity Challenge will be the first hybrid-only race staged globally and will mark the introduction of the all-new compact luxury hybrid to the Australian luxury market.
The hybrid-only race also coincides with the reintroduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) to Formula 1™ race vehicles.
KERS, like in a hybrid vehicle, captures energy and stores it for use later in the race to boost engine power.
In a new initiative, made possible by the Lexus CT 200h, two celebrities will have the opportunity to win – one for outright position and the other for the Le Mans-inspired “index of efficiency” concept, by measuring fuel use during the race.
Carsguide also has an article on this event, and it has a couple interesting quotes:
We want to show that hybrids can be sporty and they can be fun. This is a world first,” says Lexus executive, Peter Evans. “We also think this is the single biggest bang-for-your-buck opportunity to launch a new car in Australia. It’s an amazing platform with 4.6 million people at the peak television viewing and 310,000 spectators over four days.”
Evans avoids discussing the potential on-track carnage with the cars but promises a field with far more genuine celebrities than recent AGP celebrity contests.
“Our target is to try and get a new group. Not so much new faces, but different faces. So not someone like Guy Leech,” he says.
This is a huge event for Lexus Australia, and sounds like a blast — can’t wait to see some racing footage.
Here’s a couple more photos with actress Kelly Landry, one of the celebrity drivers taking part in the race:
[Source: Lexus Australia & Carsguide] (Thanks Luke!)