INDIANAPOLIS (January 9, 2003) - Following through on a promise to return Champ Car racing to Europe in 2003, Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., (CART) has announced a new race for the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered...
INDIANAPOLIS (January 9, 2003) - Following through on a promise to return Champ Car racing to Europe in 2003, Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., (CART) has announced a new race for the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule, with an event at the fabled Brands Hatch circuit in England. The race will be held at Brands Hatch on May 5, bringing the top tier of North American open-wheel racing back to the historic track for the first time since 1978.
The Champ Cars will race on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, the 1.2-mile track that was named after the USAC Championship Car Series (forerunner of the Champ Car World Series as we know it today) event hosted by Brands Hatch in 1978. Inaugural CART Champion Rick Mears, took victory in the '78 race with an average speed of 95.37 mph driving a Penske PC6 Cosworth. Today's generation of 750hp Champ Cars are expected to lap the track at an average speed exceeding 100 mph.
The announcement marks the third consecutive season that CART will compete in England, moving to the road course at Brands Hatch after two seasons of oval-track racing at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
"This race will mark the return of Champ Cars to road racing in Europe and Brands Hatch is the perfect venue for us to showcase our Series in Britain on this type of track - one of the four different styles of track that we race on in Champ Cars," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "Brands Hatch is a track steeped in history and one that has great significance for US Champ Car road racing and, of course, British motorsport. With this great US and British double bill, I'm sure the race is going to draw a great crowd and provide the spectacular racing for which we are famous.
"CART is committed to expanding into Europe and Brands Hatch is a strategic move forward in our development plans. The Indy circuit will suit the Champ Cars and the venue, with its proximity to London, will draw from the dedicated motor sport fans, not only from the UK, but from other European countries too."
The British race promises to be the most exciting race weekend of the British motorsport calendar, combining the turbocharged fury of the Champ Cars with the wheel-to-wheel battles of the British Touring Car Championship. The racing program, which headlines with the Champ Cars, is supported by the second round of the BTCC, which is the premier British saloon and production car race series. Off the track, the race weekend will be the perfect family day out with a host of attractions to appeal to all ages.
"Brands Hatch is looking forward to hosting the CART event and are confident that our facilities and infrastructure, together with the unique atmosphere of Brands Hatch, will provide a fantastic setting for this important new addition to the motorsports calendar," said Andrew Waller, Group Marketing Director of Octagon Motorsports UK. "With two such prestigious series coming together for the bank holiday weekend we anticipate a strong turnout and some stunning single seater, production and saloon car racing."
The Brands Hatch race will be the fourth round of the 19 race 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. The series races in the USA, Mexico, Australia, Canada and Europe.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta led a list of open-wheel stars this past season competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernandez Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Mo Nunn Racing, Walker Racing and others. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 19-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.