FORD DELIGHTED WITH U.S. GRAND PRIX ANNOUNCEMENT
DEARBORN, Mich., USA, 2nd December 1998 - Today's announcement of an U.S. Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the Formula One calendar in the year 2000 has been met with great enthusiasm at Ford Motor Company.
'There's no question that all of us at Ford are thrilled with the announcement today,' said Dan Davis, Director, Ford Special Vehicle Operations and head of Ford's world-wide auto racing efforts. 'As the only U.S.-based auto manufacturer involved in Formula One, we've always felt it was important that the Formula One World Championship be contested here in the U.S. We're pleased that Tony George and his people have been able to work out an arrangement that will bring this prestigious event to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.'
' I believe this is an important step in helping re-establish the appeal of Formula One racing with the American audience. Unlike some of the temporary F1 circuits that have come and gone in the U.S. before, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a place that Americans young and old know about, and care about.'
'Ford already has a great winning history at Indianapolis,' Davis added. 'And we hope that we can continue that winning tradition when Formula One returns in 2000.'
'The return of the U.S. Grand Prix to the world's biggest automotive market will increase awareness of Ford's Formula One involvement and underline that Formula One is a truly global sport,' says Ford European Director of Motorsport, Martin Whitaker. 'The 'Indy' name which is synonymous with motor racing in the US, should help to ensure the race substantial attention and hopefully assist in securing an interest from the major American television networks.'
The event will also mark the return of Jackie Stewart, Chairman of Stewart Grand Prix, to Indianapolis, where he competed in the famous 500 mile race in the 1960's.
Year 2000 will be Ford Motor Company's 33rd year in Formula One - an involvement which is unparalleled by any other manufacturer. The statistics speak for themselves with 13 Drivers' World Championships, 10 Constructors' Championships and 174 Grands Prix victories. At the heart of most of these achievements has been the Ford-Cosworth DFV engine - the engine with which Ford entered Formula One in 1967 and the most successful Grand Prix engine of all time.
Revised versions of this engine continued an impressive run of victories before a completely new engine, the Zetec-R V8, brought Michael Schumacher and Benetton yet another World Championship to Ford in 1994. Today, the focal point of the whole Ford Formula One programme is the continued development of the Ford Zetec-R V10 engine, which made its Grand Prix debut in 1997 with the Stewart-Ford team.
Next season, Ford will supply the Ford Zetec-R V10 engines to the Stewart-Ford team and officially support and supply the Minardi Team with VJ engines.