Denver (August 29, 2003) -- Team owner Derrick Walker announced today that Sportsbook.com has signed on as a primary sponsor of rookie Darren Manning's #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car entry in a rare foray of an on-line gaming company into the motorsports arena.
"We are delighted to have an international company of Sportsbook.com's caliber further their motorsports sponsorship in the Champ Car World Series with Walker Racing," said team owner Derrick Walker. "We look forward to growing a partnership that allows Sportsbook.com to grow their brand throughout the international platform in which we compete."
The Grand Prix Americas announced in July that Sportsbook.com will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Miami street race on Sunday, 28 September.
"Our sponsorship program with Walker Racing represents another phase of our entrance into motorsports," said Sportsbook.com Director of Marketing Gary Hoyle. "We are particularly pleased that we have had the opportunity to join with Walker Racing and driver Darren Manning. Their reputation is highly regarded both on and off the track and they are a major benefit to our overall program."
Sportsbook.com furthers their role as an industry leader in the on-line sports betting and gaming industry becoming the first company in their field to pursue a motorsports sponsorship.
"Sportsbook.com's involvement in the Champ Car World Series, both at the event sponsorship and team level, provides a strong indication about the value our series has to offer," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We are pleased to welcome yet another industry leader to our stable of sponsors and look forward to assisting Sportsbook.com further their brand throughout our varied race markets."
Sportsbook.com is a fully owned subsidiary of Sportingbet PLC, which became the biggest Internet sportsbook in the world in July 2001 with the acquisition of Sportsbook and its three major Internet products: sportsbook.com, wallstreet.com and playersonly.com. Sportingbet is a fully regulated, tax-free, on-line sports betting and gaming company that is publicly traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. The company has over 800,000 customers from more than 100 countries and has been trading since 1998. Sportingbet was the first company in the British Isles to offer tax-free betting on the Internet.
Manning enters the Grand Prix of Denver race weekend looking to make Champ Car history by becoming the first rookie driver in the series' history to earn eight consecutive top-ten finishes. The 28-year-old rookie already enjoys one of the season's most consistent records with 12 top-ten finishes in 14 starts this season, including a career-high fourth earned at the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 on 31 May.
Walker Racing, based in Indianapolis, Ind., enters its 13th season of Champ Car competition campaigning two rookies, Mexican Rodolfo Lavin and Brit Darren Manning. Walker Racing owns ten pole positions, 26 podium finishes and four Champ Car victories with Canadian Scott Goodyear capturing the team's first win at Michigan in 1992.
Qualifying for the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver airs live on SPEED Channel Saturday, 20 August at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The race will air on SPEED Channel Sunday, 31 August with a half-hour pre-race show airing at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.