CHAMPCAR/CART: Australia contract extended

SURFERS PARADISE (October 25, 2002) - As yet another of the wildly successful CART FedEx Championship Series events on the Gold Coast of Australia gets underway this weekend, CART and the organizers of the event in Surfers Paradise today announced...

SURFERS PARADISE (October 25, 2002) - As yet another of the wildly successful CART FedEx Championship Series events on the Gold Coast of Australia gets underway this weekend, CART and the organizers of the event in Surfers Paradise today announced the signing of a new contract to bring the high-speed Champ Cars back to the Australian streets through the year 2008.   This year's Honda Indy 300 marks the 12th season that CART will race in the streets of the Queensland resort town and the event has been breaking attendance records nearly every season of its existence, cementing its status as one of the highest-drawing events on the CART schedule. The contract, announced today by the Hon. Peter Beattie, Premier of the State of Queensland, John Cowley, Chairman of Gold Coast Motor Events Company, the organizer of the event and Christopher R. Pook, CART President and CEO, will keep the event in its late October time frame for five more years following the current term which was to expire in 2003.   "The event in Surfers Paradise has long been an example of how a race should be run and we are very pleased to be able to continue our relationship," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "The event is extremely popular with our drivers, teams, sponsors and most importantly the public. The event is a very important part of our ongoing strategy to deliver key markets to our constituents and this agreement reflects the value that our series can deliver into a vital market such as the State of Queensland."   The four-day event is expected to draw over 300,000 fans this year, and saw a crowd of 53,069 come through the gates on Thursday - a number that was an 11 percent increase from last year's opening-day crowd.   "This event injects an estimated $50million into Queensland's economy each year and we're well on target to attract record crowds of more than 300,000 over the four days of racing for the first time - double the original attendance in 1991," Beattie said. "Breaking the magical 300,000 mark will be a great achievement. It would also be a testament to the excellent cooperation between the State Government, private enterprise, the local community and the motor racing organizations."   Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Newly-crowned 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series champion Cristiano da Matta is among the open-wheel stars competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernández Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Mo Nunn Racing, Walker Racing and others. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 19-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.   -cart-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn