Series adds non-points event at Phoenix

CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY IN THE DESERT 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship to Include "Non-Points" Event at Grand Prix Arizona in December The 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda series champion will...

CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY IN THE DESERT
2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship to Include "Non-Points" Event at Grand Prix Arizona in December

The 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda series champion will be crowned on August 12 following the Generac Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

However, the 2007 series champion will have the opportunity to do battle against his fellow Atlantic competitors at least once more on Saturday, December 1 as officials from the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and Grand Prix Arizona today announced that the Atlantics will contest a non-championship "dash for cash" in conjunction with the Champ Car World Series season finale. It will be the inaugural street race in Phoenix for both the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and the Champ Car World Series. The 50-minute timed Atlantic race will feature a $100,000 purse and has been dubbed the "Dash in the Desert."

"Adding Phoenix as a bonus event to the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship is a tremendous opportunity for our series and I must thank Grand Prix Arizona and the Champ Car World Series for extending the invitation to us," said Champ Car Atlantic Managing Director Vicki O'Connor. "While the race will not count toward the championship, I believe the event will be a lot of fun for our drivers, teams and sponsors and will be just as hotly-contested as the 12 points-paying events on our schedule. Our teams have been extremely supportive of this decision to extend our season and our series partners are also thrilled with the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Grand Prix Arizona weekend with the Dash in the Desert."

The Grand Prix Arizona weekend will mark the return of both the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and the Champ Car World Series to the "Valley of the Sun" for the first time since 1995. It will also be the first non-championship Atlantic event since a race at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec as part of what was then known as the Labatt Challenge Series in 1978. That race was won by two-time Atlantic champion Bill Brack, who started the race from the pole position.

"The Grand Prix Arizona is going to be a phenomenal weekend," said Grand Prix Arizona President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Freudenberg. "We are thrilled to host the 'Dash in the Desert' at our inaugural event and think our fans will see incredible racing action."

The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Contesting its 34th season in 2007, the championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. Current Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Katherine Legge, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge are established Atlantic graduates. Utilizing Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine while riding on Cooper Tires, 2007 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus.

About Grand Prix Arizona

Grand Prix Arizona will be an action-packed, three-day festival of speed held in downtown Phoenix featuring major rock concerts, a "green" Expo by Earthshift '07, a Taste of Phoenix and a free street party. The three-day event, November 30 -- December 2, 2007, is projected to attract more than 150,000 spectators. It will be highlighted by the internationally televised Grand Prix Arizona Champ Car World Series race featuring top competitors.

-credit: ccws/atlantic

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Ryan Dalziel , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Graham Rahal , Katherine Legge , Alex Figge , Simon Pagenaud