St. Pete hosts 2003 season opener

Barber Dodge Pro Series to open 2003 season at inaugural Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2002) - The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announced today that it will host the season opener of the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro...

Barber Dodge Pro Series to open 2003 season at inaugural Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2002) - The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announced today that it will host the season opener of the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series during its inaugural race weekend, Feb. 21-23, supporting the CART Bridgestone Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford event.

The Barber Dodge Pro Series, now in its 18th year, is the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of CART, where up-and-coming drivers can hone their skills and receive a good amount of media exposure in the process. Drivers in the Barber Dodge Pro Series compete in front of a total audience of over one million people, and its races are televised on the SPEED network to over 60 million homes.

"We're excited to start our season in St. Petersburg and support the Champ Car World Series," said George Tamayo, director of marketing and communications for Skip Barber Racing School, which runs the series. "We're going to have a strong field in 2003 and looking forward to putting on a good race. The St. Petersburg track should suit our cars very well."

Drivers in the Barber Dodge Pro Series drive Reynard-built, open-wheel chassis powered by 265-horsepower Dodge V-6 engines. The 1,400-pound cars will achieve a maximum speed of 155 miles per hour. Among the series' graduates are Juan Pablo Montoya, 1999 CART Champion and current Formula One driver and Kenny Brack, 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner.

"We are thrilled to host the Barber Dodge Pro Series," said Thomas Begley, general manager of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. "With this race added to the mix along with the Champ Car World Series, Trans-Am and Fran-Am series, we've got an exciting weekend of racing activities. These young, hungry drivers in Barber Dodge always put on a good show, and the race should give us a glimpse of some future CART drivers."

The Barber Dodge Series Champion will receive a $100,000 prize at the end of the season, while the Rookie of the Year will get $100,000 in funding to return to the series the following season. In total the Barber Dodge Pro Series pays out over $1 million annually in prize money, contingencies and scholarships.

The Barber Dodge Pro Series race is expected to run in the afternoon on Saturday, Feb. 22, with qualifying to take place Friday, Feb. 21.

Tickets for the 2003 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are on sale now by calling toll-free, (888) 34-SPEED or by visiting the Web site at www.gpstpete.com. For more information on group tickets, sponsorship or hospitality club packages please call (727) 894-7749.

The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is set to take place February 21-23, 2003 in downtown St. Petersburg on a 1.78-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit that encompasses the Bayfront Center, Bay Shore Drive and part of the Albert Whitted Airport. Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $35 for a Sunday-only General Admission ticket to $105 for a three-day ticket that includes Friday, Saturday and Sunday Reserved Seating in upper levels of the grandstands. Handicapped seating, hospitality club packages and CART Paddock Passes are also available. Tickets for the 2003 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are on sale now by calling 1-888-34-SPEED or by visiting the Web site at: www.gpstpete.com. For more information on group tickets, sponsorship or hospitality club packages, please call (727) 894-7749.

The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is owned and operated by Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD). Dover Motorsports, Inc. is a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States. The Company owns and operates Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.; Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tenn.; Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Mo., and Memphis Motorsports Park near Memphis, Tenn.; organizes and promotes the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California, Shell Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.

-GPSP-

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Series BARBER-PRO