CHAMPCAR/CART: Chris Pook visits Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

CART boss visits Honda Indy 300 to "Talk Business". Championship Auto Racing Team's (CART) President and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Pook, made a flying visit to Queensland today to meet with event officials of the Honda Indy 300 and discuss...

CART boss visits Honda Indy 300 to "Talk Business".

Championship Auto Racing Team's (CART) President and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Pook, made a flying visit to Queensland today to meet with event officials of the Honda Indy 300 and discuss future Champ Car events on the Gold Coast.

A current contract between CART and Gold Coast Motor Events (a 50% joint venture between IMG and the Queensland Government) will see the Honda Indy 300 held on the streets of Surfers Paradise inclusive of 2003.

This year's event will be the 19th and penultimate round of the FedEx Championship Series and will be held from October 24-27.

During his flying "day trip", Pook was involved in two media conferences, took a helicopter flight over the Gold Coast and met with Honda Indy 300 Chairman John Cowley and CEO Geoff Jones.

He was also due to have a late afternoon meeting with Queensland Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Sport Terry Mackenroth after he returned to Brisbane from a Civic Cabinet meeting at Moranbah a coal mining town in central Queensland.

"It is fantastic that Chris has taken the time to come and visit us and to start negotiations about the future of our race," said Jones. "I guess you know someone is serious about doing a deal when he flies from the US for just one day on his way to Japan.

"Chris has certainly been "hands on" since taking up his role in December and for him to come here for a day is very much appreciated by everyone involved with our event. "I think everything looks very positive for the future."

Pook has never been to the Gold Coast race, but has seen it develop from his base in California and is obviously keen to see it remain a part of the FedEx Championship Series for years to come.

"You build on your strengths and this event on the Gold Coast is certainly a strength for CART," said Pook, who is due to fly to Japan early tomorrow morning.

"I think there is a lot of our events that can learn from the success of places like the Gold Coast, Long Beach and Vancouver. "I have heard so much about how the Honda Indy 300 is such a festival and that's what the fans want to be a part of."

CART announced in December that its Board of Directors had elected motorsports veteran Pook to serve as its new president and chief executive officer, reporting directly to the Board of Directors. Pook, the founder of the renowned Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, will took office immediately, replacing Joseph F. Heitzler.

Pook, 60, arrived at CART from the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, where he served as president and chief executive officer.

Pook, a native of Somerset, England, made his initial impact on the motorsports world by fostering and developing the idea for the annual Long Beach Grand Prix, the first post-World War II actual city circuit Grand Prix in the United States.

In 1973, Pook conceived the idea of running a world-class automobile race through the city streets of Long Beach, and his dream was realized when the initial event, a Formula 5000 event, was staged in September 1975. The event's concept and success attracted the illustrious Formula One racing series and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach evolved into an annual event on the World Championship Grand Prix circuit for eight years.

Following the 1983 event, Pook made a decision to change the format of the Long Beach Grand Prix from Formula One to CART Champ Cars.

Pook was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, is co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials and is chairman of the board of the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Pook holds degrees in Modern Languages (French and Spanish - he is fluent in both languages) from La Sorbonne in France and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Sales Promotion from the University of London.

-honda indy-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Chris Pook