DETROIT (August 4, 2000) - A new race in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as well as first-time events in England, Germany and Mexico highlight the record 22-race FedEx Championship Series schedule for the 2001 season.
The schedule was announced by Championship Auto Racing Teams interim president and CEO Bobby Rahal.
"The 2001 FedEx Championship Series schedule reaches out to more fans in more markets than at any time in the history of CART," said Rahal, who made completing the schedule the No.1 priority since he was named to run the company on June 16.
"At the core of our series are the 14 races we run here in the U.S. and, with the addition of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, we visit many of the country's leading cities," continued the three-time CART champion. "Couple that with races we run in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Germany and England and you have a schedule that serves our fans, teams, sponsors and manufacturers very well."
The season gets underway at Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway at Nelson Piquet International Raceway as the FedEx Championship Series makes its yearly visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Champ Cars will roar into action at the Rio 200, tentatively scheduled for February 11.
The schedule continues its Latin flavor on March 11 when the series visits Monterrey, Mexico for the inaugural Monterrey Grand Prix on the temporary circuit that winds its way through the city's Fundidora Park. The streets of Long Beach, Calif., provide the backdrop for Round 3 of the 2001 Championship, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 8. Three weeks later, the CART series visits the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway for the first time in its 23-year history for the Texas 600 on April 29.
Pennsylvania's Nazareth Speedway mile oval is the site of the next round of the series - the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota - on May 6. Then it's across the Pacific for the May 19 Firestone Firehawk 500 on the exciting 1.5-mile circuit at Japan's Twin Ring Motegi, about 2 ½ hours north of Tokyo.
CART sanctions the participation of those of its teams that wish to accept the invitation to participate in the 2001 Indianapolis 500-mile race event. The Indianapolis race is scheduled for May 27.
The historic Milwaukee Mile serves as stop No.7 on the 2001 FedEx Series schedule for the Miller Lite 225 on June 3 in West Allis, Wis. On June 17, CART visits The Raceway on Belle Isle for the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit.
The FedEx Series returns to action June 24 when it makes its annual visit to Portland International Raceway for the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco. The next weekend, Burke Lakefront Airport is the site for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar on the temporary circuit on the shores of Lake Erie.
After a weekend off, the series returns to the streets that run around and through Canada's National Exhibition grounds for the July 15 Molson Indy in Toronto. The following week finds the Champ Cars dueling on the high-banked, two-mile oval - the scene of 162 unofficial lead changes just two weeks ago - at Michigan Speedway in the Michigan 500 Presented by Toyota on July 22.
CART closes out the three-consecutive-race string with the Target Grand Prix on July 29 at Chicago Motor Speedway.
The FedEx Series roars into the rolling hills of north-central Ohio for the Miller Lite 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 12. The next week, the CART machines head to Wisconsin for the Motorola 220 at Road America in Elkhart Lake.
The series returns to Canada for its next stop, the Molson Indy Vancouver on the streets of the British Columbia city on September 2.
CART's first-ever European races occur back-to-back on September 15 and 22. The series visits the oval at EuroSpeedway for the German 500 and then travels to Rockingham, England for the inaugural CART Champ Car stop the next weekend in Great Britain.
Back in the United States on October 7, the FedEx Series is on the streets of Houston for the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix and then returns to the West Coast for the annual race at Laguna Seca Raceway, the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Shell 300, on October 14.
Round 21 finds CART in Australia for the October 28 race through the streets of Surfers Paradise, Queensland in the Honda Indy 300 and the series wraps up November 4 when the Champ Cars race on the world's fastest speedway - California Speedway - for Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota in Fontana.
All events in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast on either ABC or ESPN television in the United States. An announcement regarding specifics on television will be made at a later date.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which is comprised of 20 races in five countries on four continents in 2000. Champions Juan Montoya, Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the drivers who battle for the series title at speeds of more than 230 miles per hour on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series -- the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.