CHAMPCAR/CART: New Contract inked with Surfers Paradise

Champ Car World Series inks contract to extend race in Surfers Paradise through the 2008 campaign. LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2003) -- On a weekend when the Champ Car World Series is busily conducting one of its premier North American street...

Champ Car World Series inks contract to extend race in Surfers Paradise through the 2008 campaign.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2003) -- On a weekend when the Champ Car World Series is busily conducting one of its premier North American street circuit events on the asphalt of Long Beach, it firmed up a deal that will ensure the continued tradition of an equally-successful street event in Australia.

The future of the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia, was secured with the signing of a contract in California today enabling the event to be held for another five years, as the Deputy Premier and Minister for Sport Terry Mackenroth signed the Official Promoter's Agreement with Champ Car CEO and President Christopher R. Pook, Lexmark Indy 300 General Manager James Ashworth and Lexmark Indy 300 Chairman, John Cowley, at Long Beach, site of this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The current contract covers the 2003 event, therefore the new agreement carries the race from 2004-08.

"The event in Surfers Paradise has long been an example of how a race should be run and we are very pleased to be able to continue our relationship," said Pook. "The event is extremely popular with our drivers, teams, sponsors and most importantly the public. The event is a very important part of our ongoing strategy to deliver key markets to our constituents and this agreement reflects the value that our series can deliver into a vital market such as the State of Queensland."

The Lexmark Indy 300 has run in the streets of the Queensland resort town for the past 12 seasons and the event has been breaking attendance records nearly every season, cementing its status as one of the highest-drawing events on the CART schedule.

"Last year we reached an in-principle agreement for the next five years after 2003," Mackenroth said. "After further negotiation we have now been able to formalize that agreement and I am pleased to announce that the running of the Lexmark Indy 300 until 2008 is assured. It is great news for the Gold Coast and great news for Queensland because this event is one of the most entertaining racing carnivals in the world."

The signers were joined by Lexmark General Manager Stephen Waugh and Indy State Government representative Ian Whitehead in Long Beach for the official signing of the race contract, which includes the new title sponsorship of Lexmark.

This year's Lexmark Indy 300 from October 23 to 26 will be headlined by the 'Double Header' -- the 17th round of the 'Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford' and the 11th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Veteran racing teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Patrick Racing and Walker Racing will compete with many new teams this year in pursuit of the Vanderbilt Cup. 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 18-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS 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.champcarworldseries.com.

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Series IndyCar