LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Dec. 11) - Barber Dodge Pro Series executives Steve Sewell and Rick Ratajczak will, for the 12th consecutive year, man the Barber Dodge stand (no. 9370) at the Autosport International racing show in Birmingham, England, January 9-10. In concert with U.K.-based S.P.A. Design, a leading designer, fabricator and manufacturer of racing parts, Sewell and Ratajczak plan to get the word out to U.K. and European drivers about the changes to the CART-Champ Car Barber Dodge Pro Series for 2004 -- most importantly, the advent of double-race weekends.
"We really needed to address the fact that European steppingstone series are almost always 12 races or more," Sewell says. "We're looking to schedule seven or eight race weekends, making for a 14- to 16-race championship." From 1986, when Barber Dodge was established, through 2001, the championship was comprised of 12 races; '02 and '03 were 10-race seasons.
Ratajczak, Pro Series director, notes that the per-race cost of the series has decreased. "We're going from $14,000 (approx. £8,000) to $8,375 (approx. £4,800) per race," he says. "That means a full season of 16 races will cost, aside from travel expenses and any crash damage, less than $140,000 (approx. £80,400)."
At least 10 Barber Dodge test days at Sebring International Raceway in central Florida have been scheduled from mid-January through the beginning of March, and can be booked by contacting Ratajczak at 860.435.4646.
Ratajczak adds that a race-prepped Reynard-Dodge -- 270hp, six-speed sequential Hewland, 1,400 lbs. wet (630 kilos) -- will be on display, ready for inspection by interested drivers, for the entire run of the Autosport International Show. Also available at the stand will be the new-for- 2004 Barber Dodge promotional video (a mini-CD that runs with QuickTime or Windows Media Player), free for serious inquiries.
Sanctioned by CART, the Barber Dodge Pro Series, headquartered in Lakeville, Conn., with its race shop in Sebring, Fla., serves as the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of CART Champ Car. For more information about the CART-Champ Car Ladder System, log onto www.champcarworldseries.com and click on the respective links to the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Barber Dodge Pro Series, Formula Dodge National Championship, and Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow karting.