CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami sound machine or exotic race engine

MIAMI (October 4, 2002) - Championship Auto Racing Teams and the American Le Mans Series have teamed up with the Trans Am Series to bring professional automobile racing back to the streets of Miami in Sunday's Grand Prix Americas. Bayfront Park,...

MIAMI (October 4, 2002) - Championship Auto Racing Teams and the American Le Mans Series have teamed up with the Trans Am Series to bring professional automobile racing back to the streets of Miami in Sunday's Grand Prix Americas. Bayfront Park, located on the shore of Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami, will host the three-day celebration of speed.

The Grand Prix Americas marks the first time that CART and the American Le Mans Series have raced together on the same weekend. Chris Pook, CEO of CART and Don Panoz, who owns the ALMS, think their series attract a mutually exclusive group of fans. The respective series principals expect to expand their audiences by exposing their series to a more diverse set of demographics.

"It's been seven years since racing has taken place in Miami," said Chuck M. Martinez, president and general manager of the event. "With the 'Trifecta' of CART, Le Mans and Trans Am races, we are putting together an unprecedented, first-class event that will showcase Miami to the world."

While Miami is known for the international sounds of South Beach, this weekend the streets will be filled by the sounds of exotic race machinery. The scream of engines manufactured in Germany, Italy, England, and Japan will fill the downtown streets starting with practice and qualifying on Friday.

The throaty sounds of American V8 engines are on the ticket too. The Trans Am Series features ground pounding Corvettes and Mustangs, providing a nice compliment to the high-revving, ear piercing wail of the foreign bred engines.

The CART teams will provide the main event, as 18 rocket sleds will tour the 1.387-mile twisting road circuit for a scheduled 105 laps on Sunday afternoon. Miami resident Cristiano Da Matta, who has six victories this season, is the hands on favorite as he looks to clinch the 2002 season championship and the $1 million prize that goes along with it.

Bruno Junqueira, who now resides in Miami after moving from Indianapolis to an apartment near the circuit earlier this week, is the only man who can stop Da Matta from taking the Vanderbilt Cup this weekend.

Saturday's Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge will feature four classes of sports cars ranging from the exotic prototypes of Audi and Cadillac to the production based Porsches and BMWs. A speed difference of 60 mph between the fastest and slowest cars on the circuit provides some of the most exciting moments of the weekend as the prototypes slice their way through traffic.

The three-day festival, which culminates in the three automobile races, includes music too. The Blast by the Bay features the Pioneer Rock and Roar concert series with Nestor Torres taking the stage at 6:00 p.m. on Friday. Rock group Train will entertain guests at the conclusion of Saturday's on track activities starting at 7:00 p.m.

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About this article
Series ALMS , IndyCar , Trans-Am
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Chris Pook , Don Panoz