CHAMPCAR/CART: Shell announced as Denver title sponsor

DENVER (July 24, 2002) - The Grand Prix of Denver today announced it has reached an agreement with Shell Oil Products U.S. to serve as the title sponsor for the auto racing event set to run August 30 - Sept. 1 with the cars and stars of the CART...

DENVER (July 24, 2002) - The Grand Prix of Denver today announced it has reached an agreement with Shell Oil Products U.S. to serve as the title sponsor for the auto racing event set to run August 30 - Sept. 1 with the cars and stars of the CART FedEx Championship Series.

The three-day event, featuring a nine-turn, 1.65-mile temporary race course on the streets surrounding Pepsi Center and adjacent to Lower Downtown Denver, will now be known as the SHELL GRAND PRIX OF DENVER.

The Labor Day weekend event marks the return of world-class auto racing to the streets of the Mile High City for the first time since 1991. Last year Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:DVD), announced the renewal of the popular motorsports event with a new temporary circuit in 2002.

The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is set for Sunday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m. (MDT). Shell is a longtime sponsor in the CART FedEx Championship Series with Team Rahal, a major sponsor for the Shell 300 at California's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and an associate sponsor at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago and Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Shell recently began converting the majority of Texaco stations to the Shell brand in several U.S. markets and plan to complete this conversion before June 2004.

"The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is a great way for us to increase our presence in the Denver market," said Stu Crum, Shell manager of marketing strategy. "The Grand Prix event will help set the stage for our brand conversion in a market that is very important to us. The Denver area has always been a hotbed for racing and the Shell Grand Prix of Denver should be one of the premier racing events in the country."

Shell is now in its tenth season as a sponsor of Team Rahal. Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART series champion from Las Vegas, is the driver of the No. 8 Shell Ford Lola in the CART FedEx Championship Series. Three-time CART champion and 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal and television icon David Letterman own Vasser's Shell team. Team Rahal will field two cars in the Shell Grand Prix of Denver with Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. driving the 900-horsepower open-wheel machines.

"We are extremely proud to have Shell join us in becoming a major partner in the Grand Prix," said Frew, vice president and general manager of the Shell Grand Prix of Denver. "Shell has been a major supporter of racing for decades and we regard this sponsorship as a strong endorsement of our event. This new association with Shell will bring the Denver area another world-class sporting event and a chance for local fans to see some of the world's top drivers in their own backyard."

Shell is the leading retailer of gasoline in the United States with approximately 9,000 Shell-branded service stations and the potential to put its brand on the majority of 13,000 Texaco stations.

Rahal, the CART champion in 1986, 1987 and 1992, competed in the 1990 and 1991 Denver racing events and placed second in the inaugural race in 1990. Rahal also was instrumental in bringing CART back to the streets of Denver during his interim term as CART's president and CEO in 2000.

"This partnership with Shell and the Grand Prix of Denver is a tremendous opportunity to make the race one of the premier racing events in North America," said Rahal. "The Long Beach race is a classic and having the same people behind the Shell Grand Prix of Denver means this new venue could become another racing spectacular. I'm excited and proud to have Shell as the title sponsor for the Grand Prix."

The Shell Grand Prix of Denver, whose circuit include portions of Auraria Parkway and the streets surrounding Pepsi Center, will have a complete compliment of racing machines and drivers in the three days of competition including CART stars like Vasser, Jourdain, Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy, Cristiano da Matta, Dario Franchitti and Kenny Brack as well as famed team owners such as Rahal, Letterman, Paul Newman, Carl Haas, Chip Ganassi, Pat Patrick, Barry Green and Jerry Forsythe.

In addition to the CART field, the Shell Grand Prix also will feature the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the BFGoodrich Trans-Am sports cars and a vintage sports car race.

Practice and qualifying for the Shell Grand Prix of Denver is scheduled for Friday (August 30) in all categories with Saturday's (August 31) activities including the Toyota Atlantic race and qualifying for CART and Trans-Am.

Sunday's schedule will begin with CART champ car warm-up at 9 a.m. followed by a vintage car race in the morning. The Shell Grand Prix of Denver will start at 1 p.m. with the Trans-Am race set for 4 p.m. Tickets for the three-day event are currently available through Ticketmaster, at the Pepsi Center box office, by calling toll-free, (888) 82-SPEED or logging on the Grand Prix website at www.gpdenver.com.

The Shell Grand Prix of Denver will be televised live on the SPEED Channel.

The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is owned and operated by Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD). Dover Motorsports, Inc., is a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States.  Its subsidiaries operate seven tracks (four permanent facilities and three temporary circuits) in six states and promote events under the auspices of the sport's four premier sanctioning bodies - NASCAR, CART, IRL and NHRA.  The company owns and operates Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware; the new Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, Tennessee; Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri; and Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tennessee.  It also organizes and promotes the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California, the Shell Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.

-GPD-

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About this article
Series Atlantic , IndyCar , Trans-Am
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Carl Haas , Barry Green , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams ART Grand Prix