Award-winning automotive designer Chip Foose has been named Grand Marshal of the May 17 Verizon Festival of Speed presented by SPEEDCOM at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Round 4 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 schedule.
In addition to giving the command to start the engines for the Daytona Prototype and GT class drivers, and presenting the trophies to the winners in both classes following the two hour, 45 minute event, Foose will also be meeting fans during the grid walk prior to the race.
"It's an honor being named Grand Marshal for the Verizon Festival of Speed," said Foose, star of the popular TLC series "Overhaulin'. "This is a great event with lots of history, and I'm very thrilled to be a part of it. I love the Grand-Am Rolex Series, and I'm very excited to be getting to watch the competition and experience all of the events."
Foose will also judge the Race 'n Rod National Show, held on Saturday in conjunction with the event, and will conduct a fan forum at the Mother's Waxes and Car Polishes display at the car show.
Foose has also had a long relationship with Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Official Tire partner Pirelli. Every race car competing in the Rolex Series races on Pirelli P Zero racing tires.
"Chip Foose is a true partner in Pirelli's success both here in the United States and abroad," said Rafael Navarro, Director of Media Communications and Motorsport for Pirelli Tire North America. "Pirelli is proud to be a part of the Grand-Am family and we are excited that Chip will be on hand to share his passion and expertise with his fellow automotive and motorsports enthusiasts."
Foose, a 45-year-old native of Santa Barbara, Calif., began working on automobiles at age 7 for his father's company. His career skyrocketed to the point where he started his own company, Foose Design, in 1998. Foose was the youngest member ever inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame at age 31 in 1997, one of his many awards and accolades.
The Verizon Festival of Speed will be the debut of the Pirelli Edition Ford Flex giveaway, a season long promotion with Grand-Am that Foose will participate in as part of his relationship with Pirelli. The Foose designed Pirelli Edition Ford Flex will be awarded in conjunction with the 2009 Rolex Series season finale Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Practice for the Verizon Festival of Speed begins on Friday, May 15, with qualifying set for Saturday at 1:45 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 1 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 17, and will be televised live on SPEED. For additional information, visit www.grand-am.com.