CHAMPCAR/CART: 2002 chassis "grandfathered" for 2003 season

DETROIT (May 15, 2002) - In a move aimed to reduce costs and maintain safety standards, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) today announced that all chassis being used in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will also be eligible for...

DETROIT (May 15, 2002) - In a move aimed to reduce costs and maintain safety standards, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) today announced that all chassis being used in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will also be eligible for use in 2003 competition.

By using 2002 chassis next year, it is expected that current two-car CART FedEx Championship Series teams could save up to one million dollars each. As part of this announcement, it has been confirmed that Lola Cars will return to CART as a chassis manufacturer in 2003.

"We've spoken with several chassis manufacturers, and as we have always done at CART, we are committed to an open market for 2003 and beyond," said CART Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes. "We are still talking with other manufacturers, but we are pleased that Lola has already committed to returning to CART in 2003."

Added Lola Cars Chairman Martin Birrane: "Lola will continue to support its customers and teams in the CART FedEx Championship Series, and Lola looks forward to continuing with our CART teams in the future."

Another key factor in the decision to "grandfather" 2002 chassis into 2003 were concerns for driver safety. With several safety updates that were put into place prior to the 2002 season, it is believed that 2002 CART Champ Cars are the safest that they have ever been, and are among the safest open wheel race cars in the world.

"The current chassis has proven itself to be exceptionally safe on all types of courses, as evidenced most recently by Townsend Bell's tremendous crash at the Twin Ring Motegi oval," said CART Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Steve Olvey. "With rare exception, our drivers are able to walk away from the vast majority of accidents. Rather than potentially going backward, our medical department is happy to not be sacrificing any of the safety that we currently enjoy."

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as American Honda, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 20-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX and 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.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Townsend Bell , Martin Birrane