LAGUNA SECA RACEWAY - Monterey, Calif. (August 4, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) and officials of Laguna Seca Raceway announced today that the FedEx Championship Series will return to the Monterey Peninsula in 2001 for the annual Honda Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the Shell 300 on October 12-14.
The announcement regarding Monterey being the 20th round of next year's 22-race FedEx Championship Series was made by interim CART President and CEO Bobby Rahal.
"At the core of our series are the 14 races we run here in the U.S.," said Rahal. "We are proud to visit many of the country's leading cities, markets that provide significant value for our fans, teams, manufacturers and sponsors. Couple that with the races we run in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Germany, and England, and you have a schedule that will help CART racing reach out to millions worldwide."
The Honda Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the Shell 300 takes place on the picturesque, 2.238-mile permanent road course at Laguna Seca Raceway. The FedEx Championship Series has raced in Monterey since 1983, and the 2001 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the Shell 300 will mark the 19th consecutive year that the Champ Cars have competed at Laguna Seca.
"The new October date for the Grand Prix of Monterey in 2001 is a significant move for us," said John Stornetta, General Manager of Laguna Seca Raceway. "With this, our racing season can build to a crescendo with our most important and popular event as the finale. And being the 20th race, Laguna Seca will continue to play a huge role in deciding the FedEx Championship Series season title."
The 2000 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the Shell 300 is scheduled for September 8-10, and is the 16th round of the 20-race FedEx Championship Series schedule. Former Team Rahal driver Bryan Herta won the past two events at Laguna Seca Raceway.
The 2001 CART schedule is tentatively scheduled to kick off on February 18 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The season ends with a 500-mile race November 4 at the California Speedway in Fontana. CART added four new venues - Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas; Monterrey, Mexico; Germany; and England - for the 2001 season. 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 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.
The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula has operated Laguna Seca Raceway since its opening in 1957. SCRAMP is a non-profit organization chartered to benefit local charitable and non-profit groups, and to promote economic vitality. Race events at Laguna Seca Raceway have resulted in more than $9 million being distributed to Monterey Peninsula and Central California groups for youth programs and community service projects, and have generated over $1 billion in revenue for area businesses. Today, SCRAMP is the most important economic and charitable organization in Monterey County.