INDIANAPOLIS (June 5, 2002) -After two days of productive meetings with its Franchise Board, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced several rule changes slated to take effect during the 2002 season that will further reduce costs for teams and ...
INDIANAPOLIS (June 5, 2002) -After two days of productive meetings with its Franchise Board, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced several rule changes slated to take effect during the 2002 season that will further reduce costs for teams and improve the competition on the race track.
Further to recent cost-saving measures, the Franchise Board voted to freeze aerodynamic development on major components beginning later this month and running through the conclusion of the 2003 CART FedEx Championship Series.
Development of major aerodynamic components for road course cars will be frozen following the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway on June 16, while oval packages will be frozen at the conclusion of the CART Grand Prix of Chicago on June 30. At that time, teams will declare to CART their aerodynamic parts inventory for oval and road course events.
Major components covered by the freeze include each chassis' underbody, main side pods, rear wing assembly, engine cover, oval and road course nose, and the oval front wing assembly. Components that will still be open for development after the freeze include small aerodynamic body components, and the front wing assembly on road course chassis.
"The CART Franchise Board continues to act in the best interest of our sport in facilitating cost cutting measures going forward," said CART Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes. "Today's development freeze, which is actually a limitation on major areas of development through 2003, helps reduce the development expenses our teams wrestle with each season."
Previously, the Franchise Board approved a hard cost cap of $2.7 million on engine programs for 2003, restricted testing to eight days for 2003, grandfathered the 2002 chassis for use in 2003, and determined that selected races will be two-day events.
Another rule change and safety innovation that will take effect beginning with the CART Grand Prix of Chicago will be the implementation of a new, two-stage pit lane speed limiter. The new speed limiter will maintain a 50 mile per hour limit the first time the button is pushed by the driver, 85 miles per hour on the second push, and full control on the third push.
This technology was successfully tested by Ford at The Milwaukee Mile, and all teams are expected to have the two-stage limiter for the Chicago event. The new speed limiter will be used in the oval events at Chicago Motor Speedway, Rockingham Motor Speedway, and EuroSpeedway Lausitz in an effort to get the cars returning to the race after pit stops up to normal racing speeds faster, and enabling the cars to blend safely back into the race.
The final major rule change approved by the Franchise Board will take effect beginning with the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio-Round 11 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship. The new rule requires that all cars will be weighed along with their respective drivers. Previously, cars were weighed without the driver, leading some competitors to believe that teams with lighter drivers held an advantage.
"The Franchise Board voted to compensate for weight in the total vehicle, so each car/driver combination has an equal weight," said CART Director of Technology and Competition Lee Dykstra. "There are a number of racing organizations that do the same thing, Formula One does it, the Atlantic series does it, so essentially it will tend to make things more competitive. This is something that has been talked about for years, but it's difficult to police so we've got to have systems in place to enforce the rules."
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as American Honda, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 20-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.