CHAMPCAR/CART: Roberto Gonzalez to drive for Walker Racing in 2003

Walker Racing announces signing Of Mexican Roberto Gonzalez for 2003 CART Champ Car Series presented By Bridgestone entry. MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 17, 2002) - Bolstering what has already been an eventful weekend of team and sponsor ...

Walker Racing announces signing Of Mexican Roberto Gonzalez for 2003 CART Champ Car Series presented By Bridgestone entry.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 17, 2002) - Bolstering what has already been an eventful weekend of team and sponsor announcements for 2003, Walker Racing announced today that it has signed Monterrey, Mexico native Roberto Gonzalez to drive for the long-time Champ Car team in the 2003 CART Champ Car Series Presented by Bridgestone.

"The NAFTA region is an important area of growth for CART," said team owner Derrick Walker. "Walker Racing views this as an opportunity for companies to market their products and services in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico through motorsport marketing with Walker Racing and CART. Roberto Gonzalez is a future star of Mexico and CART. His talent on the track will be combined with the marketing talent of Walker Racing to provide companies a marketing platform to reach the Latino market in the U.S., as well as key markets in Mexico and Canada."

The 26-year-old Gonzalez competed in the 2002 Nissan World Series with 7Up GD Racing, and teamed with former Champ Car driver Nicolas Minassian for the final event of the season. He participated in the 2001 European Formula Chrysler Championship and finished second in the championship with six podium finishes and a fourth place finish in seven races. Gonzalez also brings experience from the Mexican Indy Lights Panamericana series, the Mexican International FIA Formula 3 series, the F2 Copa Marlboro series, and karting.

"CART is delighted to hear the news that Walker Racing has firmly committed to the series in 2003, and we are pleased to welcome Roberto Gonzalez to Champ Car racing," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "Walker Racing has long been a valued member of the CART family, and the team has proven the ability to be extremely competitive throughout its time in CART. We have repeatedly stated a strong commitment to the NAFTA region, and today's announcement demonstrates that by developing this marketing platform, our agenda is paying dividends. This series will feature many hungry and talented young drivers next season, and I fully expect that Roberto will be fighting at the front of the field with all of them."

Walker Racing has committed to fielding two cars in the 2003 CART Champ Car Series Presented by Bridgestone, and an announcement on the team's second driver will come at a later date. The team is wrapping up its 11th season of full-time CART competition, and has a long history of working with young, talented drivers such as Scott Goodyear, Christian Fittipaldi, Robby Gordon, and Gil de Ferran. Walker Racing was founded in 1990, and has won four races and 10 pole positions in Champ Car competition. The team finished second in the series championship with de Ferran in 1997.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Newly-crowned 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series champion Cristiano da Matta is among the open-wheel stars competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernández 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 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new 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.

-CART-

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Series INDYCAR