CART Champ Car Ladder Series - Unprecedented neetings produce building blocks.
INDIANAPOLIS (January 23, 2003) - An unprecedented series of meetings featuring representatives from all series in the Champ Car Driver Development Ladder System at the Champ Car Indianapolis headquarters on Tuesday produced several opportunities to grow the Ladder System in 2003 and beyond.
In attendance at the meeting were CART Toyota Atlantic Championship President Vicki O'Connor, Skip Barber Director of Marketing George Tamayo, Skip Barber Technical and Operations Director Steve Sewell, Skip Barber Race Series Managing Director Divina Galica, Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow Co-Owner Bobby Rahal, and Champ Car Driver Development Manager Robert Dole, as well as members of the respective series public relations, marketing, promotions, and operations departments.
After an opening address from CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook, the group spent the day discussing ways to integrate all rungs of the ladder in programs with the Champ Car communications, marketing, promoter operations, and race operations departments.
"Tuesday was history-making in that I don't believe we've ever had representatives from every series in the Champ Car Ladder in the same room before," said Rahal. "I know from the perspective of the Stars of Tomorrow program that these meetings were extremely helpful in charting a course for the future for our series, as well as the other series under the Champ Car umbrella. There were a lot of positive developments throughout the meetings, and our next step is to implement all of the things we talked about and grow the sport of Champ Car racing as a whole."
"I think Tuesday's meeting unequivocally demonstrates how Champ Car and all of the constituents on the ladder, Toyota Atlantic, Skip Barber, and Stars of Tomorrow have an unwavering commitment toward building the best, most clearly defined driver development system in all of motor sport," added Tamayo. "As a group we came together to discuss and implement the strategic and tactical initiatives that will see the system flourish, leaving no doubt as to how a young driver who wishes to make it to Champ Car and possibly beyond should go. Skip Barber is enormously proud to be a part of the process."
The meetings were the brainchild of Dole, who saw a need to gather everybody together and discuss the issues facing the various series, as well as put into place a solid working relationship throughout the various series.
"I am pleased that our meetings were productive and we all agreed that it is important to work together to build all of our series into a clear path to Champ Car," Dole said. "There were a lot of exciting prospects discussed in the meetings that will be very exciting for the fans of our sport and will be beneficial to all of the series on the Champ Car Ladder. As Bobby said, the key now is to implement our plans."
"It was a great idea to get all of us together and I think Robert did a wonderful job in putting these meetings together," added O'Connor. "There are definitely challenges facing all of the series in the Champ Car ladder, but if we all work together, these challenges can be dealt with and minimized. I believe that we built some momentum on Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to carrying that momentum into our upcoming racing seasons."