Former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Tito Ortiz will race through the streets of Long Beach on April 16 to raise money for charity.
Oritz is entered in the 35th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity race and will be donated the proceeds to “Racing for Kids” with the money going to the Miller’s Children Hospital in Long Beach and Orange County.
“We got in touch with them last year about doing it,” said Ortiz. “I was recovering (from neck surgery) about this time last year, so I wasn’t able to get in a car, but I’ve always been a huge fan of it. I’ve always wanted to do it, so it was an opportunity that came around again and I’ll be doing it.”
“I’m always giving back to our youth. It’s something that I’ve always done,” Ortiz told Heavy.com. “It’s always about giving back to the children.”
Ortiz hasn’t raced before, but has been a long time fan of racing, particularly Formula 1.
“This is something that I’m excited to do. I have some pretty good timing in the car. Speed is not a problem for me. I can actually control a car really well, so I think the first practices that we have I’ll find out what I’ve really got behind the wheel,” he said.
Ortiz will have to go through mandatory training prior to the race.
“It’s mandatory. We’ve got to do two weeks of training. I believe four full days,” said Ortiz. “I’m excited, though. I think I’ll learn a lot from it. I’m really excited to get the chance to get behind the wheel and have a pro show me what’s the real way to do it.”
Ortiz will have a co-pilot in the car and will reach speeds of 130-140 miles per hour.