Champ Car World Series Returns to Road America

(Elkhart Lake, WI, September 18, 2006) -- The Champ Car Grand Prix returns to Road America, September 22- 24, 2006 for a three-day festival of speed and OktoberFAST celebration. This is Champ Car's last domestic event before the finish the year in Australia and Mexico. The Champ Car World Series will be joined by the Champ Car Atlantics, Mazda MX-5, Cooper Tires FF2000, Skip Barber National, and the Mazda Extreme Street Show. At the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge and the Aprilia AMA Supermoto Shoot-Out will run on Friday and Saturday.

The Champ Car field of 17 entries will have practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday. Points leader Sebastian Bourdais will enter the race with a chance at winning an early series championship. Bourdais leads the championship by 62 points, with three races to go, giving him a cushion of nearly two full races' worth of points under the Champ Car scoring system. A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson are tied for second place with a strong lead over the remaining drivers. Practice and qualifying sessions will be held both Friday and Saturday. The race starts on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. CST. Pre-race activities will include a welcome by honored guest Wisconsin State Senator Joe Liebham, a Champ Car driver introduction in a parade of Corvette convertibles, live music and a military flyover.

Atlantics, Champ Car's feeder series, is also bringing a strong contest to Road America. Simon Pagenaud has a 12-point lead over Graham Rahal and this race will decide who wins the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship. The two rookies are considered the two top competitors in one of the most talented Atlantic fields in series' history.

The FF2000 series has long been one of the first rungs on the professional open-wheel auto racing ladder in North America. Among current top-line drivers who have graduated through FF2000 are Champ Car World Series title-winners Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy. The new MX-5 Cup Challenge, with its bumper-to-bumper racing, has been very popular across North America. Skip Barber National is a 14-race professional series positioned as a primary steppingstone for young drivers whose next step could be Champ Car Atlantic. Champ Car's A.J. Allmendinger is a former Skip Barber National star.

Another feeder series is the Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge. Many drivers spend their younger years in karts, learning driving fundamentals in a competitive setting. Karting is one of the fastest growing and exciting events in extreme sports, and this series attracts drivers from around the country who aspire to make it to the international level. Held at Road America's Briggs & Stratton Motorplex, this event will host drivers from around the world.

More extreme racing takes to the motorplex with the Aprilia AMA Supermoto Shoot-Out. Three classes run in the event: Supermoto, Lites and Unlimited. All three groups practice on Friday and qualify on Saturday. The finals will be held under the lights Saturday evening. Jeff Ward, leader of the AMA Supermoto Championship, has roots in both worlds. Not only a legend in motorcycle racing. Ward has also raced Indy Cars and was Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 1997. The AMA Supermoto Unlimited class has become a three-rider battle and includes Wisconsin's own Ben Carlson, of West Bend.

On Sunday fans can see another growing segment of motorsports, the Mazda Extreme Street Show. This event creates awareness of the sport compact car market in a race setting. Passionate car enthusiasts display and demonstrate their high-quality aftermarket vehicles. The show will be located

Road America has combined the excitement of racing with the spirit of Octoberfest for an OktoberFASTthemed weekend. The festivities kick-off Thursday evening, September 21st, with an OktoberFAST party at Siebkens in Elkhart Lake, WI, 6-11 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy an evening of live entertainment by Smashing Tubas and K!CK, with appearances by Champ Car and Atlantics drivers, and the Jagermeister Girls. On Saturday and Sunday, fans can watch the racing action from the OktoberFAST biergarten, complete with free entertainment, closed-circuit television, and contests for Best Costume and Top Yodeler. A variety of entertainment includes the Junge Kameraden, an authentic 50-piece high school German band from Plymouth, Wisconsin. The Junge Kameraden will also participate in Champ Car's pre-race activities and will perform the national anthem. Other performers are Polka Potion, Bill Schwartz on Stump Fiddle, Dan Ognavic on keyboard and violin, and Roger Winterberg on Accordian. Food, beverages and snacks will be available for purchase

Admission is $25 Friday, $40 Saturday and $60 Sunday. Tickets include admission to events at the Motorplex. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. On-site camping is available at Gate 4. Races run rain or shine. For more information, go to www.roadamerica.com or call 800/365-7223.

-credit: road america