LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2002) - Officials from MG Rover and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) announced today a new engine supplier relationship for the CART FedEx Championship Series for 2003 and beyond. The announcement...
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2002) - Officials from MG Rover and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) announced today a new engine supplier relationship for the CART FedEx Championship Series for 2003 and beyond. The announcement will bring the famous MG brand and its winning motor racing heritage to American open-wheel Champ Car racing for the first time in the marque's rich history.
The new engines will be branded with the MG Sport & Racing banner 'MG XPower' and the race cars will carry the famous MG logo. The MG Rover effort is collaboration between the manufacturer and Engine Developments Ltd, the builder of JUDD racing engines. The "XV" power plant targeted for CART Champ Car competition is being jointly developed by both groups and uses basic architecture from the existing JUDD V8 and V10 engine family, the V10 version of which powered the winning car in this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona in the hands of a winning team of drivers that included CART regular Max Papis. The extensive re-design currently being undertaken on the V8 will effectively produce a brand new engine designed specifically to suit CART's new engine regulations that call for 12,000 rpm limits and other enhancements unique to the FedEx Championship Series. The "XV" is targeted to produce well over 700 hp.
"I am delighted to be involved with the USA's premier motor racing series, and our association with the highly successful Engine Developments Ltd will enable the MG brand to once again be brought in front of the thousands of fans following the CART series," said Rob Oldaker, Managing Director of MG Sport & Racing. "This complements our European Motorsport activities and will allow MG XPOWER to become truly global."
MG Rover is the first manufacturer to officially confirm participation in CART under the organization's new rules that call for 3.5-liter V8 racing engines commencing next season. Additional manufacturers are expected to confirm participation in the coming months.
"The incredible commitment that MG Rover has made to CART is one of the single most positive developments I have seen since I joined the organization fewer than four months ago," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "It is no secret that we have been openly courting several automobile manufacturers around the globe, but to have a storied marque such as MG be the first to officially join our series is great news. As a native Englishman, I am honored to have one of Great Britain's premier brands join CART. As CART's President, I am grateful that MG Rover has seen fit to bolster its marketing initiatives through our series, and I am confident we will not let them down."
In addition to MG Rover's race car supplier business, the company is strongly considering participation in the CART Fast Lap pace car program with high-performance street versions of MG Rover automobiles in the fast lap fleet.
Engine Developments Ltd of Rugby has over 30 years experience in race engine design, development and maintenance and, in more recent years, has forged relationships with customers from the Formula 1 arena. JUDD engines have also been raced successfully in CART Champ Car competition in the past, and Bobby Rahal won the 1988 Pocono 500 in a Judd-powered Lola.
"As a British engine manufacturer, we are delighted and very proud to be associated with MG Rover, one of Britain's best known and admired car companies," said John Judd, Managing Director of Engine Developments Ltd. "MG has a long and successful tradition that is second to none, in fact my first car was an MG TA. It therefore seems very natural to renew my association with the company, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with MG in the CART series. I am sure both our companies will benefit from our participation in the series and that we can maintain and extend the traditions of the famous MG name."
Established in 1921, MG (Morris Garages) Cars are Britain's only independent sports car brand. Today, MG Rover Holdings is an independent, medium-sized British company, with a focus on the development of a fully integrated automotive business. Its aim is to create great cars, from great brands. The company was formed following the purchase of the Rover Group from BMW in May 2000. MG Rover Group designs, develops and manufactures cars at its Longbridge, Birmingham site in the UK. In total, MG products are sold worldwide in 70 markets, with approximately 50 percent of sales to export territories. Worldwide distribution of automobiles spans the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, South America, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa.
After a recent rebirth with new designs and technology, MG is making a serious effort to promote its performance cars. To establish the marque as a performance leader, MG has renewed itself on the motorsports scene. The manufacturer recently stepped up its efforts in three categories (British Touring Cars (ZS), World Rally (ZR) and FIA Sportscars (Lola EX257/MG) to prove its legitimacy as a leader in automobile performance and technology. They are coining their new performance sub-brand as XPower, which they feel will bind together and symbolize all of MG Sport and Racing's activities. Today's CART announcement is the latest development in MG's high performance initiatives. Media website, with copyright free images: www.media.mg-rover.com.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as American Honda, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 20-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com.