Countdown: 82 days until the German 500. Start of the season in St. Petersburg Next Sunday, February 23rd, the words "Gentlemen, start your engines" will finally mark the beginning of the Champ Car World Series. In St. Petersburg, Florida,...
Countdown: 82 days until the German 500.
Start of the season in St. Petersburg
Next Sunday, February 23rd, the words "Gentlemen, start your engines" will finally mark the beginning of the Champ Car World Series. In St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, the 2003 season of the world's fastest racing series will commence on a new 1.8-mile city race-track, while the series simultaneously celebrate its 25th anniversary. A total of 19 races are scheduled, offering a broader variety than any other racing series: Like in St. Petersburg, seven races in all will take place on city race-tracks, another eight on circular tracks, and three on high-speed ovals, so-called speedways, like the German 500 at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. There is also one airfield race scheduled in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Negotiations are currently being held on a 20th race which, according to press reports, may be carried out in Estoril, Portugal, thus constituting a third European race-track
Things are still on the move in regard to the starting formation. Until now, 13 teams have firmly registered 18 drivers. Next to legends such as the former Formula One pilot and Champ Car veteran Roberto Moreno (Brazil) and experienced Champ Car stars like Paul Tracy (Canada) and Jimmy Vasser (USA), the eyes of the fans will especially be on the large number of newcomers, like for instance the 24-year-old incumbent Formula 3000 champion Sébastien Bourdais (France), who performed brilliantly for the champion's team Newman-Hass - the co-owner of which is Hollywood star Paul Newman - at the official spring tests in Sebring. Together with Bourdais, four other European drivers will compete for the championship title: Tiago Monteiro (Portugal), Oriol Servia (Spain), Darren Manning (England) and Joel Camathias (Switzerland).
Continuing negotiations on the German pilots
From the German point of view, there is hardly a more interesting question a few days before the start of the season than which German driver will be seated in the Champ Car cockpit. In the past days, the former F1 test driver André Lotterer (22), who is to start for Jakub Andreas Grajewski's German team J.A.G.-Racing, has especially caused a stir. During the last race of the previous season in Mexico, Lotterer, in a guest appearance, proved that he possesses great potential as a Champ Car pilot: he fought his way from the 18th position up to 12th, and repeatedly drove the fastest laps in the race. Negotiations on a start beginning with the second race in Monterrey, Mexico, are in full swing and appear to be promising.
Motor sports fans can watch the Champ Car Series on Eurosport either live or with a slight delay. A summary of the first race in St. Petersburg will be broadcast on Sunday, February 23rd, at 10:15 p.m.
The advance sale of tickets for the German 500 from May 9th to May 11th is well underway. The tickets, which are valid for three days, can be purchased in the categories Gold (149.- Euro), Silver (99.- Euro) and Bronze (49.- Euro) and can be booked under the ticket hotline 01805/880288. Driver camp tickets, which are limited to 5,000, cost 50.- Euro and can only be purchased in advance.