DETROIT (November 27, 2001) - Groups representing St. Petersburg and Tampa, a pair of neighboring cities situated on Florida's west coast, have expressed their individual interests in pursuing a CART FedEx Championship Series event to be staged as...
DETROIT (November 27, 2001) - Groups representing St. Petersburg and Tampa, a pair of neighboring cities situated on Florida's west coast, have expressed their individual interests in pursuing a CART FedEx Championship Series event to be staged as early as 2003.
"We are extremely pleased that esteemed cities such as Tampa and St. Petersburg have an interest in adding a CART FedEx Championship Series event to enhance a sports landscape that includes NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball franchises as well as serving as a host for previous Super Bowls," said Mike Zizzo, CART vice president of competition public relations. "We are currently working with different groups at this time who are developing proposals for consideration and have been impressed with their plans and diligence."
The St. Petersburg City Council is scheduled to discuss Thursday a proposal from the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Inc. for a temporary street course event in that city with a target date of February, 2003.
The Tampa proposal is being handled by the International Racing Associates and the Birmingham, Alabama-based group is seeking to stage an event at a semi-permanent facility, the Tampa State Fairgrounds. The International Racing Associates group also is interested in having its proposed event join the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule in 2003.
"In addition to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area being a great market demographically, we have been interested in domestic warm-weather venues that would assist in bolstering the early part of our future seasons," Zizzo said. "Both of these fit into that mold."
The 2002 19-race schedule begins March 10 with the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix Presented by Herdez in Monterrey, Mexico and concludes Nov. 3 with the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. The schedule will feature three new events - Montreal (Aug. 25), Denver (Sept. 1) and Mexico City (Oct. 13) - as the CART FedEx Championship Series visits seven countries in 2002.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Reigning two-time champion Gil de Ferran and former series champions Michael Andretti (1991) and Jimmy Vasser (1996) are among the stars who battle for the FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.