The following is CART's statement in response to Marlboro Team Penske's decision to leave the CART FedEx Championship Series:
"We are disappointed to learn of Marlboro Team Penske's decision to leave the FedEx Championship Series. Both Roger Penske and Marlboro have been long-time supporters of CART and they will be missed. We wish them and their two talented drivers, Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves, well.
"The economics of our sport require teams to satisfy sponsors' marketing needs. We believe the CART FedEx Championship Series delivers significant value for sponsor investment as evidenced by the 2.5 million spectators who attended our races in 20 markets around the world in 2001; the recent renewal of our relationship with series sponsor FedEx; our new television agreement with Fox Cable Networks/Speedvision and CBS; the ongoing commitment of race teams such as Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Team KOOL Green and the PacWest Racing Group; and the expansion of our schedule to include races at three new venues - Denver, Mexico City and Montreal - in 2002.
"CART has always enjoyed the loyal support of our owners, sponsors and fans. They are drawn to our fast cars, unique tracks and technological sophistication, as well as to our many world-class drivers. We will maintain their support by offering the same top-quality product we have offered for decades. And we will remain focused on our No.1 objective - growing our sport and the CART brand."