DETROIT (May 29, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, in a partnership with Ford Racing, Shell and Simple Green, will utilize several Ford-powered Champ Car drivers to help promote automobile, helmet and environmental safety among children ...
DETROIT (May 29, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, in a partnership with Ford Racing, Shell and Simple Green, will utilize several Ford-powered Champ Car drivers to help promote automobile, helmet and environmental safety among children through the formation of CART Wheels For Kids summer youth camp program.
Champ Car drivers will visit summer camps in six race markets - Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Brooklyn, Michigan, Chicago and Columbus - in a concerted effort to relay safety messages to children regarding such key components as seatbelts, helmets and the environment; educate them about the sport and the FedEx Championship Series; and create a special experience for all those involved.
"Thanks to the partnership between CART, Ford Racing, Shell and Simple Green, this program provides an excellent avenue to promote automobile, helmet and environmental safety to children as well as giving them the opportunity to meet and talk with some of the stars of the most competitive racing series in the world," said Mike Zizzo, CART Vice President of Competition Public Relations. "The summer camps allow us to reach a large number of children at once - the groups range from 250 to over 1,000 per camp - and give us the ability to provide memorable experiences for more than 4,000 children overall in several race markets. We are hopeful that the success of this program will allow us to expand this foundation in the future."
CART Wheels For Kids will kick off Thursday at the Safe & Sound after-school program in Milwaukee as the FedEx Championship Series arrives in West Allis, Wisconsin for this weekend's Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile. Sigma Autosport driver Oriol Servia will be the featured guest at Safe and Sound, where he will visit with more than 250 children to initiate the first of six CART Wheels For Kids visits throughout the country this summer. A seventh event is tentatively scheduled during the school year in Houston's Harris County in conjunction with the Oct. 7 Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston.
Other Ford drivers participating in CART Wheels For Kids are Kenny Brack and Max Papis of Team Rahal, Bryan Herta of Zakspeed Forsythe Racing and Michel Jourdain Jr. of Herdez Bettenhausen.
"This program will give the kids a tremendous insight into safety both in racing and on the road," said Brack, the 2000 CART Rookie of the Year. "Companies like Shell, Ford, Simple Green and CART can really affect the children and their futures with this program. Highway safety is such an important issue that we want to make children aware of this program and explain how seatbelts, helmets and other safety equipment are essential."
Simpson Racing Products also has produced and donated a specially made child-sized firesuit as well as gloves, shoes and a helmet to assist the driver in explaining about safety features. One lucky child at each camp will get to suit up with the Champ Car driver and receive the opportunity to sit in the show car as the driver explains the nuances of the car and the sport.
Each camper in every market will receive a special CART Wheels For Kids gift bag courtesy of CART, Ford Racing, Shell and Simple Green. Among some of the items included will be a Lego race car, CART Wheels For Kids poster, CART driver trading cards and CART stickers. All three partners, as well as the track promoter in that respective race market, also will have items for special giveaways from the driver during the Question and Answer session, including special Lego sets, weekend race tickets, and various other merchandise.
The CART Wheels For Kids program will be held Thursday of race week in those selected markets. Prior to the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at The Raceway on Belle Isle (June 15-17), the CART Wheels For Kids will be held June 14 at the YMCA of Livonia. In preparation for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar at Burke Lakefront Airport (June 29-July 1), the visit will be held June 28 at the YMCA of Cleveland.
Heading into the Michigan 500 Presented by Toyota at Michigan International Speedway (July 20-22), the program will be held July 19 at the Jackson YMCA. For the Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer at Chicago Motor Speedway (July 27-29), the visit is scheduled for July 26 at the Banner Day Camp in Chicago. The final visit, which is scheduled around the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 10-12), is set for Aug. 9 at the YMCA of Columbus - North Branch.
"Because safety is so important to Ford Motor Company, we look forward to meeting and educating these youngsters about the importance of wearing the proper safety equipment," said Burt Diamond, Global Marketing Manager for Ford Racing Technology. "Ford is committed to remaining an industry leader in production vehicle safety, and we are active in the pursuit of safety for CART and its Champ Car drivers. Our hope is that this program will provide the campers with a fun, energetic atmosphere from which they can meet and interact with one of the stars of CART while also learning to use a helmet and seatbelt when riding their bike, rollerblading or riding in a car."
The Miller Lite 225 is Round 6 of 21 in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. The series visits seven countries and four continents during the season and climaxes with the season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Sunday, Nov. 4 at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Thanks to a partnership between Marlboro, Toyota, CART and California Speedway, the winner of the season finale will collect $1 million, one of the largest single-day winner payouts in all of motorsports. An additional $1 million, as well as the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup, will be awarded to the driver who wins the season-long FedEx Championship Series championship.