Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford committed to Portland through 2005; G.I. Joe's to continue sponsorship.
PORTLAND, Ore. (December 16, 2002) - In a renewed commitment to the city of Portland and the race fans in the Pacific Northwest, Championship Auto Racing Teams President and CEO Christopher R. Pook announced today that CART will continue its annual Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford event in the Rose City through 2005.
Bolstering this announcement is the fact that Portland-area sports and auto retailer G.I. Joe's has signed-on to continue its sponsorship of the event, and the unveiling of plans for CART to work with the Portland business community to build on the past success of the event. CART has raced at Portland International Raceway every year since 1984.
"Portland has been and continues to be an extremely important market for CART, so it is only natural that CART should make a long-term commitment to Portland," said Pook. "It is imperative that we support G.I. Joe's and all of the local businesses in the area for their undying commitment to our event, and today's announcement is the beginning of a dedicated effort to support the Portland community. Likewise, Portland International Raceway is a tremendous facility with great race fans, so we are delighted that we have been able to reach a long-term agreement to keep the Champ Cars in Portland."
A key component of today's announcement is the extension of G.I. Joe's support of the event, as the company has sponsored every previous Champ Car event at Portland International Raceway. The 2003 G.I. Joe's 200, scheduled for June 20-22, will be the 20th year that Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford visits Portland.
"We are extremely pleased to once again have G.I. Joe's serve as the title sponsor of this event," said G.I. Joe's President Norm Daniels. "We have been the title sponsor since the beginning and are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway."
In a tremendous show of community support, the Oregon Sports Authority, Portland Oregon Visitors Association, Portland Parks and Recreation and Portland Rose Festival Association have formed a formidable business coalition with Global Events Group (the event's promoter) and CART to ensure the future of Portland's race.
"The G.I. Joe's 200 has played a significant role in Oregon's economy and provided valued entertainment to the community for the last 20 years. The coalition believes strongly in the value of the race to the community," said Drew Mahalic, Oregon Sports Authority CEO.
Added Portland Oregon Visitors Association President and CEO Joe D'Alessandro, "the race is vitally important to Portland's economy - injecting nearly $20 million into the community each year - and adds substantially to Oregonians' quality of life."
"The G.I. Joe's 200 has brought the Portland Rose Festival $3.9 million to help finance non-income producing events," said Portland Rose Festival Association President Jim Franzen. "The annual event has contributed $4.3 million in improvements to Portland International Raceway since 1984 and benefits local charities, including the Columbia Pacific Boy Scouts and the March of Dimes."
The G.I. Joe's 200 is scheduled to be the eighth round of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. For more information about the G.I. Joe's 200, visit www.globaleventsgrouppdx.com.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta led a bevy of open-wheel stars this past season competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernandez Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Mo Nunn Racing, Walker Racing and others. 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 19-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.