CHAMPCAR/CART: IRL: OWRS responds to IRL's bid on CART assets

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 23, 2004) -- The Indy Racing League's ("IRL") submission of a bid for selected assets of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. ("CART") has only reinforced the Open Wheel Racing Series, LLC ("OWRS") commitment to preserve the...

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 23, 2004) -- The Indy Racing League's ("IRL") submission of a bid for selected assets of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. ("CART") has only reinforced the Open Wheel Racing Series, LLC ("OWRS") commitment to preserve the future of open-wheel racing through the continuation of the Champ Car World Series.

Any competing bid had to be submitted no later than 9:30 a.m. today. On Jan. 28, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Otte will render a final decision on the disposition of the CART assets.

"We stand by what we've said previously," said OWRS partner Paul Gentilozzi. "We will do whatever it takes to save the Champ Car series and ensure its success into the future. Last-minute posturing and provocation by (Tony) George and his organization only serve strengthen our commitment and dedication to do what's right for motorsports. To coin a phase, 'failure is not an option.'

"We have teams representing more than 18 cars, a creative television package, and a great race schedule all ready to go," continued Gentilozzi. "Our plan calls for a win-win situation for the teams, creditors, sponsors, promoters, and the fans -- a fact that will not go unnoticed in the courtroom next week.

"It's clear what the IRL's intentions are when you look at which assets they want to purchase," said Gentilozzi referring to the Long Beach contract and the CART engines, among other equipment. "They want to kill the series, yet they hide that fact under the pretext of 'unification.' They're not fooling anyone."

OWRS partner Kevin Kalkhoven explained, "The IRL bid specifically excludes the teams and their employees. Furthermore, it excludes the other races and promoters which reached more than 2 million fans. Their bid does not take into account the tens of millions of dollars of future liabilities that would be accepted by OWRS. We intend to preserve the teams and sponsors.

"No amount of posturing by the IRL will determine the ultimate fate of the Champ Car series. The issue will be decided in a court of law, based on the facts presented," concluded Kalkhoven.

-owrs-

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , INDYCAR