CHAMPCAR/CART: Driver, owner quotes on LBGP acqusition

LONG BEACH ACQUISITION QUOTES FROM CHAMP CAR DRIVERS AND OWNERS What follows are quotes from various drivers and team owners from the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford concerning the recent acquisition of the...

LONG BEACH ACQUISITION QUOTES FROM CHAMP CAR DRIVERS AND OWNERS

What follows are quotes from various drivers and team owners from the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford concerning the recent acquisition of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Paul Tracy - #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I was pretty stoked when I saw that the Long Beach event had been secured. That race has always been a centerpiece of the Champ Car World Series but it's especially important to me since I raced in my very first Champ Car event there. It's a place where I've won a few times since then and where I just always seem to have a good event. It's got some of the greatest fans anywhere and I know they've had their fingers crossed. It's a cool deal."

Jimmy Vasser - #12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "To be able to keep Long Beach on our calendar is a huge victory for the Champ Car World Series. Long Beach is by far our marquee event in North America, if not the whole series. I think this once again shows the dedication and commitment on the part of Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe to move Champ Car forward. Long Beach always has such great energy from a drivers standpoint. Having won the race, I can tell you it is a trophy every driver wants in his trophy case. I look forward go going back to Long Beach for many years."

Justin Wilson - #9 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm very pleased and excited to know that Champ Car will be back at Long Beach next year and for the years to come. The Grand Prix of Long Beach is a fantastic event for the fans and important for the Champ Car World Series. I think this announcement let's everyone know that the series owners are serious and not playing about when it comes to the future of Champ Car. This is a milestone that is as equally as big as the others."

AJ Allmendinger - #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It's so awesome that we have secured the Long Beach race for Champ Car. It's such an important race. It's one of those that has so much history and tradition. It's also a huge draw for the fans and it's always a hit. Personally, it's great for me too, since I am from California and I always have a lot of friends a family there. It's one of my home races. It's not just a race-it's Long Beach!"

Cristiano da Matta - #21 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Long Beach is a very important race for the Champ Car World Series because it is an event that has been on the schedule for a long time. It is a race that has a lot of history and tradition behind it. Of the races we do in the United States, the Long Beach Grand Prix is the biggest and most prestigious for Champ Car and the drivers. Personally, I really like the Long Beach Grand Prix. It is a great street circuit. One of my favorites anywhere, so I am really looking forward to racing there for many years to come."

Timo Glock - #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Long Beach was a great race. It is not an easy track to drive; it is really fast making it a lot of fun to drive a Champ Car around. With all the fans around the track, the ambiance was great and a real thrill to be putting on a show for them. The environment around Long Beach is unbelievable. It is a great city with a lot of great people. It was my first time experiencing the Long Beach area and the track this year, and I look forward to going back next year to experience it even more!"

Mario Dominguez - #7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Long Beach, for Champ Car, is like Monaco for F1. It's a historic event, a marquee event that even people who don't really follow racing have heard about. You always want to race at places like Long Beach where there is so much history. Particularly for me as a Mexican, that event is really important since the Southern California population has a lot of people of Mexican descent. Plus it's a really fun track to drive!"

Bruno Junqueira - #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I was very happy to see the news about Long Beach, which is for all of us drivers one of our favorite tracks and also the greatest event in the US. I've raced there five years and haven't got a victory there yet so I'm looking forward to the 2006 Grand Prix for one more chance to step up in the first place at the podium. Long Beach has been also one of my favorite venues, especially in the last two years with all the revitalization that they have done in the city. We have a great fan base in that area, as we could see during the Grand Prix this year with all the support that they show when me mostly needed, they truly speak out there minds and were very clear about their preferences".

Ryan Hunter-Reay - #31 Briggs & Stratton Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I love the Long Beach Grand Prix; it is definitely a favorite of mine and it holds some good memories! I count it as one of my home races as I have lived in California in the past and spend a lot of time there now. I love the layout of the track; it is one of the best street circuits we race on and clearly a premier Champ Car event. A particular favorite section for me is the Shoreline Straight as it leads into Turn One where there are a lot of passing opportunities. The race attracts a lot of attention from the local fans and we all enjoy putting on a show for them."

Nelson Philippe - #34 Wellbox Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It has so much tradition and history, it is for any driver on this continent a dream and a privilege to race there. No other race welcomes us so well and for the short week we are there, the town turns into ChampCarVille. I have raced there for two years now and can tell you it is the best US event on the schedule."

Andrew Ranger - #27 Tide/Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am really glad to hear that the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will remain on the Champ Car World Series calendar. This is a great track, it is fun to race on and is a challenge. As Long Beach is where I made my Champ Car debut, I look forward to returning to the streets of southern California! This is great news not only for the Champ Car fans but for the drivers as well."

Eric Bachelart - Team Owner, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing: As a driver, I raced in Long Beach many years ago and I have always considered that race weekend very special. As a team owner, Long Beach is a prime example of the street festival concept where Champ Car excels. The Long Beach Grand Prix association led by Jim Michaelian has done an incredible job over the years and have established themselves as the reference. I am delighted that the event has been purchased by the new venture of Gerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkoven. With this acquisition, Champ Car continues to show great dedication to their fans, teams and sponsors.

Carl Russo -- Team Owner, RuSPORT: "I think the announcement about the future of the Champ Car World Series in Long Beach is a clear sign that we are listening to the fans. Our fans not only showed their love of the Grand Prix of Long Beach by coming through the gates on the race weekend, but also strongly voiced their love of Champ Cars on the Long Beach streets through many other avenues. They spoke and Champ Car listened. This is just one more step in the ongoing process of securing the future of the Champ Car World Series and continuing to deliver great events and great racing to these dedicated fans."

-ccws-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Carl Russo , Jim Michaelian , Nelson Philippe , Andrew Ranger , Timo Glock , Kevin Kalkhoven , Cristiano da Matta , Kevin Kalkoven
Teams Conquest Racing