CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES NAMES ANNOUNCER TEAM FOR 2006 TELEVISION BROADCASTS
INDIANAPOLIS (March 10, 2006) -- Not only do Champ Car World Series fans rely on 18 of the world's best drivers to provide breathtaking racing action on each stop of the 2006 schedule, but they also count on four of the sport's top broadcasters to describe every moment along the way.
This year's lineup carries a wealth of both racing and television experience featuring a pair of men that once made their behind the wheel of turbocharged Champ Cars. Former Champ Car pilots Derek Daly and Jon Beekhuis will bring the knowledge learned from thousands of Champ Car laps to the broadcasts while veteran broadcaster Rick Benjamin returns for his third season as host. The final member of the quartet that will chronicle all of the action of the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season is a new one, as off-road racer and action sports commentator Cameron Steele joins the Champ Car crew as a pit reporter.
"With their vast experience both behind the wheel and behind the mike, this year's broadcast team will give our viewers a real sense of what goes on under the helmet and in the Champ Cars," said Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson. "Our broadcast will be further enhanced by having men that know what it takes to drive in the heat of battle, as well as by having a play-by-play man that has seen as much racing as anyone. We look forward to welcoming Cameron to the Champ Car family as well."
Daly is no stranger to anyone connected with the Champ Car World Series as the former Formula 1 driver and veteran of 63 Champ Car starts takes the microphone for his 21st season of television work. His extensive knowledge of the Champ Car paddock allows him to take viewers behind the scenes of a race weekend, providing valuable insights at each and every race.
Benjamin returns for his third season in the booth and will host the events on CBS Sports, NBC and SPEED throughout the 2006 campaign. Benjamin's portfolio includes many years of racing coverage throughout the country and most recently included a stint with the NFL's Carolina Panthers radio network.
The team of Beekhuis and Steele will cover Pit Lane from front to back, getting all the latest strategies from the key decision makers as the race unfolds. Beekhuis, a four-year veteran of the Champ Car battlegrounds and a 14-year veteran of Champ Car telecasts, returns pitside and will use his skills to help viewers better understand exactly what it takes to win a race in the ultra-competitive Champ Car World Series. Steele may be new to Champ Car but is no novice in the racing world, having competed in the grueling Baja 1000 as well as many other off-road races. He also has considerable motorsports broadcast experience with various networks.
The team will make its first appearance in less than a month on NBC's live coverage of the season-opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which takes place Sunday, April 9. Qualifying takes place Friday and Saturday on the streets of Long Beach with the green flag waving to start the 2006 campaign at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.