DETROIT (March 13, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams is providing unprecedented access to the drivers of its FedEx Championship Series by instituting all-driver autograph sessions at each of CART's 20 events during the 2000 season. The ...
DETROIT (March 13, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams is providing unprecedented access to the drivers of its FedEx Championship Series by instituting all-driver autograph sessions at each of CART's 20 events during the 2000 season.
The all-driver autograph sessions are an integral part of Fan Appreciation Day activities designated by CART for each race venue. At the end of the day's on-track activities on either Friday or Saturday of race weekend, the paddock will be opened and all FedEx Championship Series drivers - including such stars as Michael Andretti (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola), Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard), Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard), Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford Reynard), Jimmy Vasser (Target Toyota Lola) and reigning champion Juan Montoya (Target Toyota Lola) - will be available for a 45-minute autograph session in a designated area.
This new program represents a departure from autograph sessions of past seasons, during which only a pre-determined group of three or four drivers signed for the fans. The access CART is offering its fans is unparalleled in all of motorsports; indeed, perhaps in all of sports, period.
"At a time when athletes seem to be less and less accessible to the fans, as well as less and less willing to serve as role models, we are taking this consummate step to personalize our drivers for their most important audience," said Patrick Leahy, CART's senior vice president of marketing. "In what other sport do the fans receive the chance, at every event, to interact on a one-to-one basis with their heroes?
"In effect, what we are doing is opening our 'locker room' to give the fans an inside look at the FedEx Championship Series, while offering the added opportunity of getting their favorite drivers' autographs. We thank our drivers, teams and promoters for their cooperation in this initiative, and we are grateful that we have these occasions to thank our fans for their continued support of Champ Car racing."
The first all-driver autograph session will take place in the team hospitality area at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, March 25, following qualifying for the FedEx Championship Series season-opener, the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. During the season, selected drivers from CART's two development series, the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the Toyota Atlantic Championship, will be incorporated into the autograph sessions, as well.