CHAMPCAR/CART: Emerson Fittipaldi To Promote Rio Race

Emerson Fittipaldi To Manage Brazil's Rio 400 Rio de Janeiro (October 6, 1998) - One of auto racing's most successful and legendary figures has joined with Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. to serve as the event promoter for the FedEx ...

Emerson Fittipaldi To Manage Brazil's Rio 400

Rio de Janeiro (October 6, 1998) - One of auto racing's most successful and legendary figures has joined with Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. to serve as the event promoter for the FedEx Championship Series' Rio 400, beginning in 1999.

In a press conference Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro, former FedEx Championship Series and Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi teamed with CART Chairman and CEO Andrew Craig to announce Fittipaldi International has entered into a five-year agreement with CART to manage the annual event. The 1999 Rio 400 is scheduled Saturday, May 15 on the Emerson Fittipaldi Speedway oval at Nelson Piquet International Raceway.

"Without a doubt, Emerson Fittipaldi has been the single-most important element in increasing Champ Car racing's stature in Brazil," said Craig. "As both a racer and a businessman, Emerson has been extremely successful and we are very pleased to be able to partner with him to build the Rio 400 into one of the top sporting events in Latin America.

"Emerson's efforts have laid the groundwork for other Brazilian drivers to race in the FedEx Championship Series and those drivers have become a very integral part of our series," said Craig. "Today we have six Brazilian drivers in the FedEx series. Four Brazilian drivers. including Emerson, have won 28 times in Champ Cars and they also have been very successful in our PPG/Dayton Indy Lights Championship."

Fittipaldi, who won Formula 1 titles in 1972 and '74, first joined the Champ Car circuit in 1984. Over the next 13 seasons, he won 22 races in 195 CART starts. He qualified on the pole 17 times and led 2,624 laps. His $14,293,625 in winnings places him fourth on the all-time CART earnings list. His best season came in 1989, when he won five times in 15 races en route to claiming the PPG Cup.

"I am working with one of the most dynamic, competitive and fascinating categories in international car racing," said Fittipaldi. "When the Brazilian public has direct contact with the drivers, teams and cars, I am sure they will be even more interested, especially because our country is represented by seven highly skilled drivers. It will be a great show."

Fittipaldi, who has a renewal option in his agreement, was joined by Rio de Janeiro Mayor Luiz Paulo Conde and Rio's Secretary of Sports, Jose Morales in making today's announcement.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Nelson Piquet , Emerson Fittipaldi