Monterey Bay Aquarium to play host to CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Celebration
DETROIT (January 11, 2002) - The CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Celebration, which honors the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Team as well as those from CART Toyota Atlantic and Dayton Indy Lights, will utilize the Monterey Bay Aquarium as the picturesque backdrop for the Thursday, Feb. 7 event in Monterey, California.
The All-Star Celebration, a highlight of the CART FedEx Championship Series Sneak Preview set for Feb. 7-10 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will honor the five-member CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Team consisting of series champion Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske, Michael Andretti of Team Motorola, Kenny Brack (formerly) of Team Rahal, Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske and Cristiano da Matta of Newman/Haas Racing.
Andretti is the first driver to be selected to all three CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Teams since the program's inception in 1999 while de Ferran earned his second all-star berth and Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Brack, Castroneves and da Matta make their inaugural all-star appearances.
The event, open to all media, will begin at 7 p.m. PT with a cocktail reception amid the various exhibits, including a 1-million gallon tank containing sharks, tuna, ocean sunfish and sea turtles as well as specially planned shows and tours for the guests.
The All-Star Celebration trophy presentations will be staged in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's auditorium, beginning at 8 p.m. PT. The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will kick it off with presentations to its all-star team consisting of series champion Hoover Orsi, Joey Hand and David Rutledge. That group will be followed by the Dayton Indy Lights All-Star Team, which has yet to be officially announced.
The CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Team will follow, with each driver receiving the specially crafted trophy by acclaimed sculptor Elie Hazak. The highlight of the CART FedEx Championship Series All-Star Team presentation will be the announcement of the winner of the prestigious Mario Andretti Trophy, also designed by Hazak. The Mario Andretti Trophy is presented to the driver who garnered the most votes from the voting contingent consisting of drivers, media and series fans. Juan Montoya won the inaugural Mario Andretti Trophy in 1999 and de Ferran captured the award in 2000.
The All-Star Celebration is part of the CART FedEx Championship Series Sneak Preview 2002, the official preseason kickoff of the FedEx Championship Series.
Sneak Preview, being held over a four-day period at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will feature extensive test sessions Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10. Teams are scheduled to participate in a pair of test sessions each day, 2 ½-hours in length each, on the scenic 2.238-mile permanent road course. The test sessions are open to media and fans.
The testing will follow two days of driver availability on Thursday, Feb. 7 and Friday, Feb. 8 for media only to allow for in-depth interviews and expanded photography opportunities. Formal driver interview sessions also will be scheduled for the media during the two-day, off-track sessions. All FedEx Championship Series drivers will be available during these sessions. Media interested in attending can contact Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca of CART public relations for application forms or additional information.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. The 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season kicks off March 10 at Monterrey, Mexico and the 19-race schedule will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS and Fox Cable Networks Group, including Speedvision/Speed Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.