CHAMPCAR/CART: Series hits major attendance mark

BRIDGESTONE PRESENTS THE CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POWERED BY FORD DRAWS OVER ONE MILLION FANS AFTER JUST EIGHT EVENTS IN 2005 INDIANAPOLIS (August 5, 2005) -- One of the fundamental truths about the Champ Car World Series is that its loyal and ...

BRIDGESTONE PRESENTS THE CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POWERED BY FORD DRAWS OVER ONE MILLION FANS AFTER JUST EIGHT EVENTS IN 2005

INDIANAPOLIS (August 5, 2005) -- One of the fundamental truths about the Champ Car World Series is that its loyal and enthusiastic fan support is a key component of its success.

Unwavering through the long history of the series, the fan support has jumped to an even higher level in 2005, as more than 1,000,000 fans have already come through the gates to catch the action of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

Champ Car reached the one-million mark in attendance after just eight races in 2005, the first time that the series had cracked seven figures after eight races since 2002. This year's average event attendance after eight events is 128,403, and has the series on track to average over 150,000 fans per event this season -- marking the first time in series history that the Champ Cars have played before such large numbers.

"We are delighted with the increased fan support this year as we continue to grow the Champ Car World Series," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. "What is even more encouraging is that the increases are coming at nearly every event, and is not simply built on the strength of one or two events. Our long-time venues are pulling higher numbers and our new events have performed spectacularly. These numbers lend even more credibility to the fact that the Champ Car business model is paying dividends that will carry the series into a prosperous future."

Five of this year's events drew more than 150,000 fans for Champ Car's three-day Festival of Speed, including each of the three events in July (Toronto, Edmonton and San Jose). The increases have not only been realized at the box office through the first eight events, but also in television and on the Internet. The Toronto event drew over a million households in its best showing on CBS while traffic on the series' official website, www.champcar.ws, has doubled over the same time period a year ago to over 20 million page views.

The trend shows little sign of slowing down as the upcoming Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver (August 12-14) and the Molson Indy Montreal (August 26-28) are expected to have record attendance numbers after combining to draw nearly 250,000 fans a year ago.

"This week has been phenomenal for ticket sales," said Jim Freudenberg, general manager of the Grand Prix of Denver. "The Grand Prix and its surrounding festival events have made it the summer event to attend in Denver."

The Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver can be seen on live on SPEED Channel Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The Molson Indy Montreal will be broadcast live on NBC August 28 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

-ccws-

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Series IndyCar