The roar of racing engines echoed down Hollywood
Boulevard at the world premiere of "Driven" last night, as CART drivers Paul
Tracy, Kenny Brack, Cristiano da Matta, Mauricio Gugelmin, and Michel
Jourdain Jr arrived at Mann's Chinese Theater in open-wheel race cars. The
famous Hollywood Blvd. was closed to traffic, bleachers were set up across
the street from the theater, and the public was treated to a double-dose of
celebrity, with actors Sylvester Stallone, Estella Warren, Kip Pardue, and
Cristian de la Fuente arriving in stretch limos, and the CART drivers
blasting down the street in their race cars.
Team KOOL Green's Paul Tracy thrilled the crowd gathered outside Mann's Chinese Theatre last night for the Hollywood premiere of the new Sylvester Stallone movie "Driven," with a pit stop demonstration and a series of crowd-pleasing doughnuts (high-powered circular burn-outs).
Prior to the movie's premiere, Tracy drove his #26 Team KOOL Green Honda-Reynard down Hollywood Boulevard and came to a stop in front of the red carpet. Then his team, two-time and defending Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge champions, performed several pit stops in front of the media, arriving celebrities, and packed grandstands outside the famous theatre.
Following the pit stops, Tracy, still behind the wheel of his TKG Champ Car, led fellow Champ Car pilots Kenny Brack, Cristiano da Matta, Mauricio Gugelmin and Michel Jourdain, Jr., who were driving CART Driving 101 cars, in a high-speed parade back down Hollywood Boulevard. The group did two laps of the famous Hollywood block before coming to a stop in front of the grandstands. Tracy, who rarely disappoints an audience, performed several smoke-producing doughnuts before exiting his car, tossing his driving gloves to the crowd, and heading inside to watch the movie.
"That was a real kick!" said Tracy. "I've driven down Hollywood Boulevard probably a hundred times, but never in my Team KOOL Green Champ Car. I wasn't sure what the crowd would think about it but they obviously loved it. I could hear them cheering above the noise of the engine. That's why I maybe got a little over-enthusiastic with the doughnuts. But, hey, you only live once!"
Tracy, along with several members of the Team KOOL Green crew, were among the first people to see the movie, which opens nationwide on April 27 and is based in and around the CART FedEx Championship Series.
"I thought it was very entertaining," said Tracy. "The special effects are fantastic and they did an awesome job of putting you in the driver's seat. I think it should bring some new fans to the sport. I know we made some new fans outside in those grandstands!"
Coordinating all of the Team KOOL Green action at the premiere was team manager Kyle Moyer. "It is an honor to be able to showcase the excitement of CART at a Hollywood premiere," said Moyer. "This Team KOOL Green crew earned its way onto the red carpet as two-time Craftsman Pit Crew challenge champions and they showed their precision on Hollywood Boulevard. These guys make amazing pit stops week in and week out to help Paul get to victory lane and I'm glad they were able to experience some of the glamour with Paul at the premiere."
Moyer was also impressed with the movie. "The film was definitely exciting, and the scene where the cars were racing down the street was really cool. There is real race footage in the movie and it is surely going to be good for CART."
After the premiere, the actors and drivers headed to the exclusive Sunset
Room for an invitation-only party honoring the cast and crew of "Driven,"
which will be released by Franchise/Warners on April 27th, 2001.
"Driven" stars Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue, Til
Schweiger, Gina Gershon, Estella Warren and Cristian de la Fuente. The film was directed
by Renny Harlin, reuinting him with Sylvester Stallone following their highly
successful collaboration on "Cliffhanger." Story by Sylvester Stallone and
Neal Tabachnick & Jan Skrentny. Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone. "Driven"
is produced by Franchise Pictures' Elie Samaha, Stallone and Harlin. Andrew
Stevens, Don Carmody and Kevin King are the executive producers. It will be
released by Warner Bros. Pictures, an AOL Time Warner Company.
1: Paul Tracy peels out during demonstration pit stop in front of
Mann's Chinese Theater
2: (left to right) CART drivers Michel Jourdain Jr, Kenny Brack and
Cristiano da Matta work the "press line" on the red-carpeted entrance to
Mann's Chinese Theater
3: CART driver Cristiano da Matta roars down Hollywood Blvd in his
CART 101 car on way to "Driven" premiere.
Photo Credit on all three pictures: Greg Spotts
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