CHAMPCAR/CART: CSOT: Stars of Tomorrow Karting program extended

Championship Auto Racing Teams and The Rahal Group expand relationship with Stars of Tomorrow Karting program. FONTANA, CALIF. (November 3, 2002) - Nearly all great racecar drivers from every era of open-wheel racing have started their racing ...

Championship Auto Racing Teams and The Rahal Group expand relationship with Stars of Tomorrow Karting program.

FONTANA, CALIF. (November 3, 2002) - Nearly all great racecar drivers from every era of open-wheel racing have started their racing careers by competing in some form of karting, and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) is taking steps to ensure that those that start in karts have an opportunity to grow into the Champ Car drivers of the future.

Further solidifying the initial rung on its successful Ladder System, CART has agreed in principal to expand its relationship with the Stars of Tomorrow program, which was started by former CART driver Bryan Herta to help karters reach the next level. The Stars of Tomorrow program is the first official step in the CART Ladder System that includes the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER, Barber Dodge Pro Series, Toyota Atlantic Championship and the CART FedEx Championship Series.

"As we continue to grow, we are taking steps to make sure that the top tier of young drivers have every opportunity to make CART a major part of their racing career," said CART CEO and President Christopher R. Pook. "Having the backing of one of CART's memorable champions in Bobby Rahal only goes to show the effort that we are putting into our Ladder System."

The Stars program, in conjunction with Herta, will now be run by the Rahal Group, which is headed by three-time CART champion Rahal, with marketing and communications efforts led by Glenn Holland. Paul Zalud will oversee the operational aspect of the series.

"I am proud and excited to become involved with Stars of Tomorrow and to help further coordinate Stars' operations with CART," said Rahal. "The group we now have with Paul (Zalud) and Glenn (Holland) gives Stars the skill, experience, and connections necessary to take the series, and karting as a whole, to new heights."

The tentative 2003 schedule for the CART Stars of Tomorrow consists of six event locations, with a total of 12 races by virtue of running double-race weekends. The series will run in accordance with FIA-CIK regulations, using CIK approved classes ICC (Intercontinental C, 125cc shifter karts), ICA (Intercontinental A, 100cc direct drive), JICA (Junior Intercontinental A 100cc with clutch), World Formula (four-cycle price capped spec).

The proposed involvement with the CART Ladder System also will ensure that the top drivers in the Stars of Tomorrow receive benefits from all levels of the Ladder including invitations to the Barber CART Karting Scholarship Shootout which awards four promising karters with a Barber-CART Karting Scholarship to the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship, their first step into racecars. and opportunities to drive in the FDNC. The Stars of Tomorrow program will also be part of a grassroots marketing effort that looks to introduce the karting world to opportunities in CART.

Announcements regarding sponsorship, awards and exposure will be released by the Stars of Tomorrow in the near future. <pre> Tentative 2003 CART Stars of Tomorrow schedule:

Round 1 Las Vegas April 25-27 Round 2 Sonoma, CA May 16-18 Round 3 Denver, CO June 12-14 Round 4 BeaveRun, PA July 25-27 Round 5 Road America (with CART) Aug 15-17 Round 6 TBA (south/southeast) September 12-14 Grand Nationals TBA November 6-9 </pre> Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Newly-crowned 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series champion Cristiano da Matta is among the open-wheel stars competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernandez Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Mo Nunn Racing, Walker Racing and others. 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 19-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

--CART--

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Skip Barber , Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn