CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America back on 2003 schedule

CART Champ Car and Road America reach agreement to hold 2003 race. Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America to be event name. INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2003) -- The road to the 2003 Vanderbilt Cup just got a bit longer and will now again wind ...

CART Champ Car and Road America reach agreement to hold 2003 race.
Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America to be event name.

INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2003) -- The road to the 2003 Vanderbilt Cup just got a bit longer and will now again wind through one of the most historic racetracks in North America as Championship Auto Racing Teams and Road America announced the restoration of this year's Champ Car World Series event at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin track.

The event was restored to the 2003 and 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedules after Champ Car legend Mario Andretti took up the cause and spearheaded discussion between Road America and CART. With the assistance of the four-time Champ Car titlewinner, the issues that caused the event to be canceled were resolved and both sides have agreed to cease any and all legal action in the matter. In recognition of the efforts of the 52-time Champ Car race winner, the event will now be known as the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America.

"Road America has always been one of the premier tracks in the United States and is probably the most popular venue among the drivers on the CART Champ Car circuit," said Andretti, who won three Road America events. "It was a track that we needed to have on our schedule to maintain the series' standing as the truest challenge in open-wheel racing."

"I must thank Mario Andretti for his tireless efforts toward getting Road America back on our schedule," said CART Champ Car President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "It is great to see that he has the same level of passion for the heritage of CART Champ Car racing that he did when he was behind the wheel."

The event will take place on the 4.048-mile Elkhart Lake course from July 31-August 3 and marks the 22nd appearance of the CART Champ Cars at Road America. The race will be part of the 49th year of racing at the track this season.

"We are delighted to have the issues resolved and the Champ Cars coming back to Road America," said track General Manager George Bruggenthies. "We truly appreciate Mario Andretti, the CART Champ Car staff and Board working closely with Road America to make another two seasons here a reality. We also want to thank the fans who have written and called to express their support for both open-wheel and road racing."

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 are just some of the teams that will compete 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
Drivers Mario Andretti