CHAMPCAR/CART: Changes announced for Brands Hatch race

Champ Car World Series adopts rules to enhance competition for upcoming London Champ Car Trophy event at Brands Hatch. INDIANAPOLIS (April 22, 2003) - The drivers and teams of the 2003 Champ Car World Series will add their legacies to the fabled...

Champ Car World Series adopts rules to enhance competition for upcoming London Champ Car Trophy event at Brands Hatch.

INDIANAPOLIS (April 22, 2003) - The drivers and teams of the 2003 Champ Car World Series will add their legacies to the fabled list of competitors that have raced at Britain's Brands Hatch circuit, and the series announced today that it has adopted a new set of rules that will ensure that the competition level will be the equal of any series that has participated there.

The 19 cars of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will take to the tricky seven-turn 1.2-mile Brands Hatch track for the May 3-5 London Champ Car Trophy event, and will do so under new single-event guidelines that will enhance competition along with providing maximum safety for drivers and teams.

Addressing driver's concerns over the ability to get a clear qualifying lap on the 1.2-mile short course, Champ Car adopted a single-car qualifying format that will give each competitor six laps to chase the pole position, with four of those laps being timed. The running order for the first round of qualifying will be set by practice times while Sunday's final qualifying order will be based on the Saturday results. In accordance with new rules put in place in 2002, there is a single championship point available to the leaders of both qualifying sessions, and the fastest car in each session is guaranteed a front-row starting spot for Monday's 165-lap race.

The other change goes into effect on race day, as Champ Car management and its teams agreed to revoke the mandatory pit windows for the Brands Hatch event. The pit windows have been replaced for the event by a rule that states that each car must complete two pit stops under green-flag conditions. The green-flag service must include a four-tire change in order to count toward the two mandatory stops. Teams may pit under caution periods at will, but can only add fuel to the car, and can only have two team members over the wall during a yellow-flag stop.

"We took the concerns that our drivers had over the lack of clear space during qualifying and created a scenario that will allow them to run flat out as they fight for the pole," said Champ Car Vice-President of Operations John Lopes. "The rule changes governing pit stops at Brands Hatch will also provide for a full afternoon of full-out racing with teams now able to use different strategies in pursuit of victory."

The London Champ Car Trophy, which will see points leader Paul Tracy go for his record-tying fourth consecutive victory, will be seen on CBS Sports on May 10 at 1 p.m. The CBS coverage will begin on May 4 with a season preview and qualifying show at 12 p.m.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Veteran racing teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Patrick Racing and Walker Racing will compete with many new teams this year in pursuit of the Vanderbilt Cup. 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 18-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS, and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.champcarworldseries.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy