LANSING, Mich. (Jan 3, 2004) -- U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Otte made several definitive decisions Tuesday, Dec. 30, as he approved the procedure submitted by CART, Inc. to sell its assets and accepted the Open Wheel Racing Series, LLC ("Open Wheel") proposal to purchase said assets as a "qualified bid." The proceeding was held in Indianapolis in the Birch Bayh Federal Building and Courthouse. No other buyers have indicated an interest in the CART assets to date.
The court also established a timeline to complete the proceedings. Any other parties interested in submitting competing bids must do so no later than Jan. 23, and the court will render a final decision with regard to the Open Wheel proposal on Jan. 28.
"We're very pleased and encouraged with the proceedings," said Attorney James Moloy, who represented Open Wheel at the hearing. "The bankruptcy judge quickly recognized the importance of an expedited sales process in order to ensure the 2004 Champ Car World Series season.
"The court's ruling was expected and approved the precise relief requested by both CART and Open Wheel," added Moloy.
"We continue to have complete confidence in our work and vision for the Champ Car World Series," explained Paul Gentilozzi, an Open Wheel partner and owner of Rocketsports Racing. "As the closing of the transaction progresses, Open Wheel will continue the planning process of the operational details required to conduct the 2004 Champ Car World Series.
"Our stakeholders and fans continually tell us what a phenomenal product we have in the Champ Car World Series," continued Gentilozzi. "We completely agree, and we're resolute in our intent to return the Series to its rightful place in the international motorsports arena."
Kevin Kalkhoven, an Open Wheel partner and co-owner of PK Racing, welcomed the decision.
"This is another important step toward ensuring the future of Champ Car," he said. "We remain committed to our goal for an expedient resolution so that our sponsors, teams, promoters, and fans can be assured of yet another exciting season of Champ Car racing. It's what they deserve and we intend to deliver."
The 2004 Champ Car World Series racing season is slated to begin April 18 with its 22nd running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Reigning Champ Car Drivers' Champion Paul Tracy will return to defend his 2003 Long Beach win.