CHAMPCAR/CART: IMAX 'Super Speedway' success

DETROIT (November 20, 2000) - Success on the streets and ovals has found its way to success on the big screen for Champ Car racing. The IMAX film, "Super Speedway," has now hit 80 giant screens world-wide, bringing the story of CART's Newman/Haas...

DETROIT (November 20, 2000) - Success on the streets and ovals has found its way to success on the big screen for Champ Car racing. The IMAX film, "Super Speedway," has now hit 80 giant screens world-wide, bringing the story of CART's Newman/Haas team and the excitement of open-wheel racing to life in a way that only IMAX can do. "Super Speedway" debuted in IMAX theaters in March 1997 and continues to be a popular stop for movie-goers. The film has been seen by an estimated 14.2 million viewers world-wide, and it has grossed approximately $52 million at the box office. Recently, six new locations were added, bumping the number of theater releases to 80. "Super Speedway" has landed in 15 countries and has been shown domestically in 29 U.S. states. It is currently playing at IMAX theaters in Baltimore, Md., Duluth, Minn., Mexico City, and Shreveport, La., and next year it is scheduled for release at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

"Super Speedway" introduces the viewer to the challenges, dangers, joys and thrills of the sport of open-wheel racing. Directed by Stephen Low and produced by Pietro Serapiglia, it puts the audience behind the wheel and conveys the experience of reaching speeds of more than 200 miles per hour with the help of the over-sized screen and unique camera angles. Narrated by Oscar-winning actor and CART team co-owner Paul Newman, the $6.5 million project tells two parallel stories: one of the development and racing of Michael Andretti's state-of-the-art Champ Car as he pursues the CART title with the Newman/Hass team; a second of the restoration of a 1964 roadster once driven by Michael's father and racing legend Mario Andretti.

"'Super Speedway' truly generates a sense of excitement and demonstrates the thrill of the sport of open-wheel racing, and IMAX is a fabulous medium because you get a sense of actually being in the race," said Low. "There's a new generation that seems most affected by the film. A lot of children go to see IMAX productions and they're often getting their first chance to watch auto racing. Viewers have also had the opportunity to see the more human side of the sport, of the risks these drivers are taking and the intensity of the individuals behind the wheel."

The "Super Speedway" DVD hit the market in 1998 and offers an added dimension. Not only is the original complete with full-throttle action and surround sound, but a 50-minute documentary joins the film, chronicling the making of the original. It offers an inside look at how "Super Speedway" was created and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the filming and development of an IMAX movie.

"Super Speedway" continues to rank as the highest-selling IMAX film on DVD, and nearly 100,000 copies have been sold, grossing well over $1 million wholesale. The landmark DVD release has received rave reviews and numerous awards. At the 1999 European DVD Summit in Dublin, Ireland, it was named the Best Entertainment DVD and the Best Audio DVD. Produced by Ryan Mullins and Big Picture DVD Productions, Inc., the film has been used as a demo disk by major electronics manufacturers, and it has been distributed with over 60,000 DVD-ROM kits in Europe through Creative Labs. A hybrid version of "Super Speedway" is also being developed for release with an open-wheel racing computer game.

- CART -

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Mario Andretti , Paul Newman