(Lakeville, Conn) February 5, 2003 -The Barber Dodge Pro Series released its 2003 schedule today, with ten rounds slated for the 18th year of the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of Champ Car. The schedule reflects the development of the partnership with Champ Car, as the Pro Series will race in support of the Champ Car World Series every race weekend of its season. The Champ Cars had over 2.6 million race attendees during the 2002 season and provide an ideal setting for the young drivers in the Pro Series to show their stuff not only in front of large crowds, but also in front of the decision makers and team owners in Toyota Atlantic and Champ Cars, where all the young drivers aspire to race eventually.
The season will open in St. Petersburg, Florida on the weekend of February 21-23 and conclude in Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the weekend of September 5-7. The Series will once again cover the NAFTA region with a visit to Mexico's Fundidora Park in Monterrey, six dates in the United States, as well as three races in Canada with visits to Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Confirmation of a tenth date slated for the beginning of the summer will be announced shortly. Actual race dates are still to be determined, as some races will be featured on Saturday with other races taking place immediately before the Champ Cars take to the track for battle on Sunday.
"We are tremendously pleased to have two new events in St. Petersburg and Monterrey, Mexico and a full schedule supporting the Champ Car World Series highlighting not only the Series' stature in motorsports but also the substantial value it delivers to drivers at the beginning of their careers. No other development series at this level puts its drivers in front of that many fans and decision makers with a real opportunity to demonstrate their talent at a cost that is arguably second to none," says Steve Sewell, VP of Motorsports Development for Skip Barber.
"One of Champ Car's goals from the beginning of our partnership with Skip Barber was to fully integrate the Pro Series with Champ Cars and Toyota Atlantic and we've achieved that in under two years," said Robert Dole, Champ Car Driver Development Manager. "More than just a schedule, the system is working. When the line ups for the 2003 Toyota Atlantic and Champ Car World Series are announced, we think you'll see more drivers moving up the ladder than anytime time before."
The Barber Dodge Pro Series has been the launching pad for drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Kenny Brack, Jerry Nadeau, and A.J. Allmendinger. The Barber Dodge Pro Series is the Official Entry Level Professional Series of CART. The drivers utilize identically prepared single seat open wheel Reynard-Dodge racecars. Barber Dodge Pro Series provides a level playing field where driving talent, not financial resources, play the decisive role. All of the Barber Dodge drivers compete on identical Michelin Pilot racing slicks. To ensure absolute equality for all competitors, the Barber Dodge Pro Series owns, maintains, prepares and transports all the cars and equipment. The overall Series Champion receives a $100,000 scholarship towards entry in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The Barber Dodge Pro Series pays out over $1 million annually in prize money, contingencies and scholarships.