CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston update

Off to Brazil this weekend for the Rio 200. The CART FedEx Championship Series boasts a truly international presence, with drivers representing 12 countries around the world. Brazil is home to nine of the drivers, including Helio Castro-Neves,...

Off to Brazil this weekend for the Rio 200. The CART FedEx Championship Series boasts a truly international presence, with drivers representing 12 countries around the world. Brazil is home to nine of the drivers, including Helio Castro-Neves, Cristiana da Matta, Gil de Ferran, Christian Fittipaldi, Luiz Garcia, Jr., Mauricio Gugelmin, Tony Kanaan, Roberto Moreno, and Gualter Salles. Defending Rio 200 champion is Juan Montoya.

What's going on for the 2000 THGPH?

The BFGoodrich Tires Trans-am Series returns to this year to the streets of Houston on Saturday, September 30. The series is in its 35th year, making it the longest road racing series in North America.

New 2000 entries from Jaguar, the XK8 and Oldsmobile (Aurora) will compete against the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, Pontiac Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Cutlass.

The Trans-Am Series has averaged more than 1.1 million fans each year since 1989. The highest-season attendance record of 1,305,571 was set in 1996.

The races are typically 100 miles, without scheduled pit stops.

The race Saturday will begin at 4:00pm.

Who's Driving for Whom?

Gualter Salles will drive at "home" this weekend in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 29 year-old is in his 3rd year of competition in the FedEx Championship Series. Driving for Dale Coyne Racing, Salles and teammate, Takuya Kurosawa are campaigning new Fod/Lolas this year.

Some 2000 Facts and Figures ---

With Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and then Motegi, Japan, the CART teams will be flying over 23,000 miles, through 13 time zones and visiting three continents.

Jumbo FedEx cargo planes carry the teams' garages in custom designed and built crates. The crates are driven to Indianapolis and loaded. CART places weight restrictions on each team. Each entry is allowed 8,350 pounds which includes the engines, wheels, tools -- all of which must fit into 60 boxes.

Racing Talk --

What does it mean?

Pole Position - The spot on the starting grid occuped by the driver with the fastest qualifying time or speed.

Podium - The top three finishers in an event stand on a podium (or stage) to be recognized after the race. The winner is usually in the middle on a higher pedestal, flanked by the second and third-place finishers.

All about Houston

Approximately 150 years ago Houston was just a muddy crossroads on the banks of Buffalo Bayou with about 3,000 people. A devastating yellow fever epidemic claimed the lives of hundreds of residents. The entire nation (Republic of Texas) was deeply concerned about the fate of the town. Some legislators urged abandonment of the city named after the Republic's hero, Sam Houston. By the turn of the century, Houston had already obtained funding from the United States government to deepen and further widen the bayou. In 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt signed a bill that appropriated $1 million to a group of die-hard Houston business men who wanted to finish digging the channel they envisioned naming the Port of Houston. In 1914, some 74 years after digging began, President Wilson officially opened the Port of Houston. Buffalo Bayou had been successfully transformed into the Houston Ship Channel. As railroads linked Houston to the rest of Texas, the Port linked it to the world. Today it is one of the world's largest ports. k

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About this article
Series Atlantic , IndyCar , Trans-Am
Drivers Gualter Salles , Gil de Ferran , Tony Kanaan , Mauricio Gugelmin , Dale Coyne , Luiz Garcia
Teams Dale Coyne Racing