CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford-Cosworth, Bridgestone and CART press conference, Part I

Ford-Cosworth, Bridgestone and CART press conference November 21, 2002 An Interview with Chris Pook, Dan Davis, Ian Bisco, Al Speyer and Emerson Fittipaldi. Part 1 of 2 Adam Saal: We thought it was very important that we join together ...

Ford-Cosworth, Bridgestone and CART press conference
November 21, 2002

An Interview with Chris Pook, Dan Davis, Ian Bisco, Al Speyer and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Part 1 of 2

Adam Saal: We thought it was very important that we join together here to take an advance look at 2003 and share with you some of our plans going forward for what's going to be probably the most significant year of operation in the history of Championship Auto Racing Teams. We will review the agenda somewhat later in the program, but right now I'd like to ask our guests to please join us up here for what will be a great announcement. Gentlemen.

Please welcome the Director of Ford Racing Technology, Dan Davis; Vice President of Cosworth Racing North American Operations, Ian Bisco; CART President & CEO Christopher R. Pook; and a champion both in CART as well as Formula 1 World Championship, the youngest man to win there in that category, a man who perhaps personifies what racing is all about, not only on an international level, but also here in Miami, Emerson Fittipaldi.

It was important from the CART perspective to kick off this meeting with a high note, and we can't have anything more positive to report to you today than what we're going to ask Dan Davis to share with you right now.


Dan Davis: Thank you, Adam. Thanks to all of you for being here today. Thanks to Chris Pook and CART for helping us put this program together.

On behalf of Ford Racing we're pleased to announce this two-year agreement where the Champ Car Series will indeed be powered by Ford. Thank you.

What this means is that for the next two years we at Ford will partner with CART on the exclusive automotive marketing arrangement. This agreement will see Ford's name in the new series logo, but for us way more importantly Ford cars will be the official pace cars for the CART events, Ford trucks will be the truck for the Simple Green Safety Team, and we will continue our ground-breaking involvement with CART as official technology provider through the use of our Blue Box Safety Program.

In addition we've committed to television advertising with CART for the next two years and we'll be working with CART to get our local dealer groups involved in CART race weekends. To me that is really important. Let's get some local flavor in some of these races with some of our dealerships.

Cosworth will remain very visible and very involved. In fact, the official name of the engines will be the Ford-Cosworth. Our Cosworth technical people will very much be in evidence around the tracks supporting the teams and the series. Ian and his people have been working very diligently on next year's Ford-Cosworth motor and I'm sure it will provide a great level of competition among all the teams in the next two years.

Many of you have wondered if this agreement was ever going to be announced. That goes for me, too (laughter). The truth was we had to determine which brand at Ford Motor Company made the most sense for this program and how it could be best marketed to help us accomplish our ultimate goal of selling more cars and trucks. The bottom line for us, that's what we're here to do.

We're pleased to have it done. We're very pleased to be supporting not just CART and the competitors, but also Cosworth in their efforts to create a world-class racing series.

So thank you all once again. We at Ford are really excited about CART. We're really excited about our future together. As a closing, I'd like to say let's hit the gas and let's light up those Bridgestones. Thank you.

Saal: As Dan alluded to, this is our second major sponsorship announcement in about two weeks. We will hear from Al Speyer from Bridgestone shortly.

Chris, this was a key component of what you needed to accomplish as CART president. How do you feel about the foundation for the future with our new partners?

Chris Pook: Tremendous announcement for us today. We're absolutely delighted to have probably the greatest name in automobile racing, Ford Motor Company, involved in the series with us. Their commitment to motor racing is huge, not only in this country, but all over the world. You cannot go anywhere in the world and not find people who immediately associate the brand name of Ford with quality, with technology, and with the sport of automobile racing.

For Championship Auto Racing Teams this relationship is very, very significant. It allows us now to move forward with a re-launch of this series, repositioning of this series.

It is clearly our responsibility to deliver value to the Ford Motor Company, and indeed to Bridgestone, our presenting sponsor. Our job now is to sit down with Dan and his colleagues at Ford and find the most conducive way whereby we can race on Sunday and we can sell Fords on Monday. That's what it's all about it is our responsibility to provide value to companies so they get a return on their investment. That's what we intend to do at every single level in this relationship.

We are obviously very happy. It's very significant for us. I think that you're going to see us now take this series to a new level.

Saal: Thank you very much, Chris.

As Dan said, let's get on the gas right now. Proof positive of that is the fact that right now the first 2003 spec Ford-Cosworth engine is actually being tested at Firebird [International Raceway]. The man who has been charged with making the tweaks, the enhancements, as he has been for 20 years, is Ian Bisco. Ian joined us in Portland when we announced the Cosworth package. We're pleased to announce the Ford package.

Ian, your mission stays the same no matter what. Tell us how you feel as you enter another era with Cosworth and CART.

Ian Bisco: I'd like to congratulate Ford for joining us. Ford and Cosworth together are no strangers to the world of motorsports. Together we've had many records, many success stories. We intend to build on our own record with CART in the future.

Cosworth in California is now receiving many new parts and pieces. We've already started building engines for next season. We've put four together, tested those. Two of those have done a lot of work on the Ford dyno in Dearborn [Michigan]. The other two, as Adam says, they're in Firebird in Phoenix there. They're going to start running in a car as we speak. I'm expecting a call to tell me they've done miles already. That's a real exciting part of the whole thing.

The results that we had when we tested our first four engines, the first time we've seen those over here in the US, we ran four engines. All were within four horsepower of one another. We were really pleased about that. I think it's on target to be a very, very competitive and equal engine for everybody.

We at Cosworth, with Ford, look forward to an exciting new chapter in CART's history. I guess we could get the manufacturer's championship for the next couple years with the engine program, right (laughter)?

Saal: Thank you, Ian. It's a great program. Ian leads a group of people who, with Ford, will keep this moving.


Part II

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Emerson Fittipaldi , Chris Pook