CHAMPCAR/CART: New Engine Formula announced

HOUSTON (October 4, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that it will adopt a new engine formula beginning in 2003 that possesses the parameters common to open-wheel racing in the United States. In a near unanimous ...

HOUSTON (October 4, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that it will adopt a new engine formula beginning in 2003 that possesses the parameters common to open-wheel racing in the United States.

In a near unanimous decision, the 22-member CART Franchise Owners Board of Directors approved a move to a maximum 3.5-liter, normally aspirated engine formula from its current turbo-charged format beginning in 2003. The engine formula to be adopted will be open to the distinct possibility of certain enhancements to allow the FedEx Championship Series to continue its distinction as the most advanced form of open-wheel racing in the United States. Currently, Ford, Honda and Toyota provide engines to the most competitive field in the world.

"CART's leadership position in open-wheel racing dictated for us to make an aggressive step toward the future in the best interest of our sport," CART Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joe Heitzler said. "We will have a normally aspirated formula similar to all major racing series in the world including Formula One, but will continue to have our own distinctive engine formula in the most competitive and challenging series in the world."

The move will provide myriad of benefits including a significant reduction in engine costs; rules stability through 2005; reduction in speed on ovals while maintaining ultimate power on road and street courses; allow additional development for the teams to maintain a high technical level; and allow teams to compete in the FedEx Championship Series as well as the Indianapolis 500.

CART Senior Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes and CART team owner Derrick Walker have been appointed by the Board to review all aspects of supply and specification associated with the new engine formula.

"This formula will provide commonality without compromising CART's high-tech traditions," Lopes said. "Our ability in the future to develop these motors, along with the aerodynamic and electronic developments pioneered by CART teams, affords CART the ability to remain the most advanced form of open-wheel racing in the United States."

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE:MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Champions Michael Andretti, Gil de Ferran and Jimmy Vasser are among the drivers who battle for the FedEx Championship Series title on oval circuits as well as temporary and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top two development series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

-CART-

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Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser