INDIANAPOLIS (November 25, 2002) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) today announced that the Rockingham 500 event, scheduled for May 3-4, 2003 in Corby, England, has been removed from next season's Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford schedule.
Rockingham Motor Speedway officials have determined that hosting a 2003 Champ Car event would not be possible because of the current economic climate. However, both CART and track personnel intend to explore the possibility of holding future Champ Car events at Rockingham.
"We have invested with CART in bringing the world's fastest motor racing to Britain, on our unique banked oval track, but have decided that a 2003 event would be fiscally unviable," said Ashley Pover, CEO of Rockingham.
CART is continuing to examine several racing venues in Europe to replace Rockingham and to fill the currently open April 27 race date on the 2003 calendar.
"We would like to thank Rockingham and its promoters for helping to stage two very memorable races over the last two seasons and we will continue to talk about future events at the facility," said CART President and CEO Christopher Pook. "We are currently looking at some very exciting European venues for the Champ Cars in 2003. In fact, I will be in Europe this weekend for some business meetings and I plan to have some serious discussions on prospective circuits for next season. As we've seen over the last two years, European fans have been very receptive to our racing and we certainly intend for the European market to be well represented on the 2003 Champ Car series schedule when all is said and done."
CART began racing at the 1.479-Mile Rockingham oval in 2001 and the Champ Cars staged two of the fastest races ever held in the United Kingdom with the winning average speed in excess of 153 mph (246 km/h) in each of the last two seasons.