CHAMPCAR/CART: DOT, CART launch safety campaign

CHICAGO (July 28, 2001) -- Building on their successful three-year partnership, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) announced today their new campaign, Safety - the Ultimate Rush, a new...

CHICAGO (July 28, 2001) -- Building on their successful three-year partnership, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) announced today their new campaign, Safety - the Ultimate Rush, a new effort to drive home lifesaving traffic and vehicle safety information to race fans.

"I applaud CART for its leadership in promoting safety on and off the track and am pleased that CART continues to help to make our highways safer," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. "Together we are reaching race fans and their families across the nation with valuable information about the importance of safety, which is the Bush administration's highest transportation priority."

"Racing is our business and safety plays a huge role in our success. Our drivers wear the latest high-tech safety gear and drive some of the world's most sophisticated cars, which feature some of the most advanced safety thinking in the world," added CART Chairman and CEO Joseph F. Heitzler. "Safety is never compromised on the track by CART and fans should never compromise safety at home or on the road. We value our fans and are committed to their safety and to giving them more than just the thrill of the race but also lifesaving information that will make a real impact on the lives of race fans and their families."

At the Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer at the Chicago Motor Speedway, the campaign is unveiling new traffic and vehicle safety public service announcements (PSAs) produced by CART Entertainment, featuring CART Champ Car driver Bryan Herta of the Forsythe Championship Racing Team powered by Ford-Cosworth. The two PSAs will air on the ABC Sports and ESPN telecasts throughout the 2001 season, reaching millions of viewers every weekend.

"I had a lot of fun doing these PSAs for CART and the Transportation Department, in association with Ford. I'm proud of their quality and I'm proud to deliver the message about the importance of using seatbelts and crash test safety. I really believe in these messages and I think it's important to spread the word to our fans," said Herta

The campaign is part of CART Charities' nationwide traffic and vehicle safety campaign that annually reaches more than a billion fans worldwide with valuable information on the importance of using seat belts, child safety seats and maintaining a safe motor vehicle. Since 1999, the partnership has worked with numerous drivers and their teams to create television, radio and print public service announcements promoting safety messages in English and Spanish. The partnership distributes materials at tracks and Fan events, and makes scoreboard and public address safety announcements at race venues. CART also promotes the campaign at community events at schools and special promotional events. Primary campaign partners include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Championship Auto Racing Teams Auxiliary (CARA), car manufacturers and numerous local and national sponsors such as Driving 101 that along with The Ford Motor Company provided the vehicles featured in the print and broadcast PSAs.

Earlier this week, CART Champ Car driver Michel Jourdain of the Herdez Bettenhausen team, powered by Ford-Cosworth, visited 2,000 Chicago-area kids at the Banner Day Camp as part of the CART Wheels for Kids Summer Camp traffic safety program and spoke about automobile, helmet and seatbelt safety and his career as a professional driver. The kids also received Ford Racing Team posters and autograph photographs.

As part of the Chicago Motorspeedway's commitment to the campaign, they donated a trackside Buckle Up America sign. The sign was featured several times in the motion picture, Driven, which depicts CART racing.

CARA sponsors the Buckle Up Baby campaign which has provided more than $500,000 to buy child safety seats for needy families in nearly 100 communities worldwide.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which is comprised of 21 races in five countries on four continents in 2001. World-class drivers such as Bryan Herta, Michael Andretti, and Kenny Brack race 900-plus horsepower, open-wheel cars at speeds of more than 240 miles per hour on some circuits. Learn more about CART open-wheel racing at

Consumer safety materials are available to consumers by calling 1-888-327-4236 or by visiting NHTSA's Web site at or by visiting


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About this article
Series Automotive , Charity , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Michel Jourdain