CHAMPCAR/CART: CART announces Rio race is canceled.

DETROIT (February 9, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams (NYSE:MPH) announced today that the Rio 200 - Round 2 of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series - has been canceled. CART previously notified the City of Rio de Janeiro that it was in ...

DETROIT (February 9, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams (NYSE:MPH) announced today that the Rio 200 - Round 2 of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series - has been canceled.

CART previously notified the City of Rio de Janeiro that it was in default of its agreement with CART concerning the 2001 Rio 200. The city missed its deadline for providing CART with letters of credit guaranteeing the payment of sanction fees required by the existing contract.

In addition to being in default of the contract financially, the city also failed to provide event promoter Emerson Fittipaldi, a former CART driving champion (1989), with access to the race venue, Nelson Piquet International Raceway, preventing Fittipaldi and his team from beginning preparations for the race.

"After exploring all possibilities with the promoter of the event, we unfortunately have reached the conclusion that it is impossible to go forward with this year's Rio 200," said CART President/CEO Joseph Heitzler. "This is most regrettable."

"This is a great embarrassment for all of Brazil," Fittipaldi said.

Championship Auto Racing Teams has conducted an annual event in Rio de Janeiro since 1996. The series' reigning champion, Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske, is Brazilian, as are 10 of the 31 drivers expected to compete for the 2001 FedEx Championship Series championship.

CART opens its record 21-race FedEx Championship Series season on March 11 in Monterrey, Mexico.

-CART-

The transcript of the CART teleconference concerning the Rio 200 cancellation will be available later today - Motorsport.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Nelson Piquet , Emerson Fittipaldi
Teams Team Penske