CSOT: CART Ladder System update 2002-09-2

CART ladder system ends another year of providing top-flight opportunities for driver and team development. INDIANAPOLIS (September 26, 2002) - Despite the fact that the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series has yet to be decided, many in the ...

CART ladder system ends another year of providing top-flight opportunities for driver and team development.

INDIANAPOLIS (September 26, 2002) - Despite the fact that the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series has yet to be decided, many in the Championship Auto Racing Teams community are already casting an eye toward 2003 with teams and drivers looking to reap the benefits offered by those that are coming through the CART Driver Development Ladder System.

Starting from the ever-growing ranks of the Stars of Tomorrow karting series, drivers are using the complete CART Ladder System to make their way to the upper levels of the sport as former champions such as Bobby Rahal, Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya have been able to do. Designed to give drivers a clear-cut path of progression from karting to the Champ Car level, the CART Ladder System has completed another successful campaign in which an amazing 625 drivers have spent the year learning if they have what it takes to join the roster of racing greats.

The Ladder System incorporates the Stars of Tomorrow karting series into the successful Skip Barber Racing program, with scholarships offered to the top karters to attend Skip Barber Three Day Racing Schools with the Formula Dodge Regional and National Championship Series waiting ahead of them. Four karters and the top Regional Series drivers are awarded Barber-CART Scholarships for full seasons to compete in the Formula Dodge National Championship.

From the National Championship, top drivers, including the series champion, earn Barber-CART Scholarships to assist their move up to the Barber Dodge Pro Series, the Official Entry Level Professional Series of CART which contests most of its schedule as part of Champ Car weekends. The Barber Dodge champion is awarded more than $150,000 in cash and incentives to aid their move into the Toyota Atlantic Championship. In total, the Barber CART Scholarship Ladder awards more than $1million each season across the entire system, including a Barber-CART Scholarship awarded to the Pro Series' top rookie. In all, 64 drivers each season receive some sort of assistance from the Barber-CART program, allowing them to continue their quest to reach the top.

From Barber Dodge, drivers move into the Toyota Atlantic ranks, where tomorrow's champions race on the many of the same tracks and on the same weekends as the Champ Car stars that they hope to join. The Atlantic Championship gives drivers a closer look at what awaits them in the FedEx Championship Series ranks with a car that is closer in performance terms to the 230-mph Champ Cars and gives them the diversity of road and street courses necessary to make the step to the next level of racing.

The Atlantic drivers battle for purses of $100,000 at each of their 12 races with another $1million available in the season-ending point fund. The benefits go far beyond the monetary rewards however as the Atlantic series enjoyed the most extensive television coverage it has ever had this year, with the help of SPEED Channel, assisting racing fans in identifying the next generation of Champ Car stars.

In 2002, the CART Mentor Program was unveiled as a way to increase the line of communication between drivers and key personnel on teams and expand the future opportunities for the drivers of the CART Ladder System. Top drivers in Barber Dodge and Toyota Atlantics are selected to spend the entire race weekend with a team at the next level and take part in every aspect, including debriefings, engineering sessions and team meetings.

The CART Ladder System remains truly unique in the world of motor sports as no other program so comprehensively lays out a career progression path for drivers that can lead from karts to Champ Cars. In fact, 12 of the current 18 drivers in the FedEx Championship Series are graduates of the CART Ladder System. From start to finish, all efforts ensure that when fans and media watch the drivers of the Ladder System, you watch the future stars of CART.

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Series Atlantic , Barber Pro , Kart
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya