CHAMPCAR/CART: Pook names CART management team

DETROIT (January 7, 2002) - Following his appointment late last month to the corporation's top executive position, new Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) President and CEO Christopher R. Pook announced today a new CART Management...

DETROIT (January 7, 2002) - Following his appointment late last month to the corporation's top executive position, new Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) President and CEO Christopher R. Pook announced today a new CART Management Team that will develop and implement a business plan to lead the auto racing organization to the next level in the sport of open wheel racing.

Pook, who was appointed to the position of president and chief executive officer on Dec. 19, has developed a group of seven departmental managers that will each be responsible for the day-to-day and long-term operation of CART. The areas include operations/competition, marketing/television, promoter relations, joint venture promoter operations, communications, marketing/client services, legal and financial administration.

"Obviously our primary mission is to deliver 'results' to our shareholders and to get those 'results' we must first deliver 'results' to our constituents," said Pook, the 60-year-old founder of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. "This includes our valued race fans at home watching television or in person at our race promoters' venues, as well as our engine manufacturers, our suppliers, our teams, our drivers, our sponsors, our race organizers and the media, both electronic and print.

"The CART 'product,' a combination of oval, road and street races, is not only a truly excellent racing series, it is also a unique and sophisticated sports marketing vehicle that can really deliver 'results' for our constituents," Pook added. "We must create a user friendly, positive and dynamic environment whereby the opportunity to obtain these 'results' can be delivered to all involved in our sport. To do this we need a focused and energetic management team who can listen to input from all of our business partners, develop a crucial user friendly plan and execute it through their respective staffs in an enthusiastic, friendly and effective manner. I am confident, that following five 14 -hour days of intense discussion, this team is ready to execute on the mission."

The new management team is comprised of five existing CART executives, one returning member and a new appointee from within the CART community.

Current CART executives on the executive team include Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes, Vice President of Promoter Operations Tim Mayer, Vice President of Joint Venture Promoter Relations Rena Shanaman, Chief Financial Officer/Vice President Administration Thomas Carter and Chief Legal Officer Deborah Schneider. Adam Saal, who managed CART's communications and public relations operations in 1995 - '96, returns in the same capacity as vice president of communications while veteran motorsports marketing and business operations manager Steve Fusek joins CART as the new vice president of marketing.

Lopes, Carter and Schneider remain in the same positions they held prior to Pook's arrival while longtime CART employees Mayer and Shanaman each have new management team responsibilities.

Mayer, who joined CART in December, 1998, has previously served as the organization's vice president of racing operations and, most recently, vice president of special projects. Shanaman most recently held Mayer's current post and has now shifted to the newly created joint venture promoter position.

In continuing as vice president of racing operations, Lopes, 40, will be responsible for the management of CART competition, logistics and all technical areas in addition to assisting in the day-to-day administration of the office. He joined CART this past August following 12 years of experience in the auto racing industry in the areas of team management, marketing, public relations and legal counsel.

As vice president of promoter relations, Mayer, 35, will be charged with maintaining business operations with all CART event promoters while maintaining a strong interface with Shanaman, who will lead the way in exploring and establishing cooperative operations with existing and new CART events. Shanaman, 49, has extensive experience as a race promoter in addition to previous experience within CART as a former vice president of client relations. She joined CART in July, 1996 after working the previous six months in a contracted position.

Carter, 46, has been with CART since February, 1997, serving as the organization's chief financial officer for the past year. He will continue to oversee all financial and administrative areas of the company including the corporation's interaction with Wall Street.

Schneider, 41, joined CART in May, 2000 and is in charge of all legal operations and issues within the company.

Returning to the position of vice president of communications, Saal, 37, will oversee all CART media and public relations initiatives at both the competition and corporate communications levels. He previously worked for Pook in managing the communications of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach from 1991 - '94 in addition to his previous stint at CART in the same position he now holds. For the last five years he has operated his own communications company that was the primary press and public relations agency of the CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship. Saal takes over for former CART communications vice president Ron Richards who remains with the organization as a special projects consultant.

Fusek, 39, is a CPA and veteran business and marketing professional who has worked within the CART community for 12 years. He most recently held the position of vice president of business operations for winning CART Champ Car team PacWest where he was responsible for all non-technical aspects of the business, including marketing and sponsorship sales. In his new role with CART, Fusek will be responsible for all CART sponsorship sales, television, merchandising and marketing. He replaces former CART marketing vice president Rich Henley who has left the company.

With all company management and administrative employees staffed at CART headquarters in Troy, Mich., each member of CART executive management team will be part of Pook's Executive Committee (X-Com) that will meet weekly to address the day-to-day and long-term operation of the company. Each X-Com member will in turn be required to meet with his or her staff between weekly X-Com meetings to ensure smooth operation of all CART business.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. The 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season kicks off March 10 at Monterrey, Mexico and the 19-race schedule will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS and Fox Cable Networks Group, including Speedvision/Speed Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com.

-cart-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser