CHAMPCAR/CART: Kneifel attends FIA Circuit Commission meetings

INDIANAPOLIS (September 12, 2003) - CART Champ Car Race Director Chris Kneifel spends his race weekends ensuring that all of the on-track action of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford goes as smooth as possible, and...

INDIANAPOLIS (September 12, 2003) - CART Champ Car Race Director Chris Kneifel spends his race weekends ensuring that all of the on-track action of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford goes as smooth as possible, and will now spend some of his non-event days exchanging information with some of the top minds in the world of motorsports as part of the prestigious FIA Circuits Commission.

The Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA) is the governing body of international motorsports, including Formula 1, Formula 3000, World Rally Championship and many other sporting organizations covering levels from the top tier of racing down to club-level events. All forms of international motor sport involving land vehicles with four or more wheels come under the jurisdiction of the FIA.

Kneifel was invited to attend meetings of the FIA Circuits Commission by Commission President Roger Peart and this week, in Paris, attended his first meeting, where advances in safety, circuit building, rules and event planning were discussed. Kneifel participates as the only representative of a US-based series and brings not only his perspective as Race Director of Champ Car but also his experience as a championship race driver.

"It's pretty interesting because we have guys like (F1 Race Director) Charlie Whiting and Roger Peart as well as other high-level guys who are involved with international racing series all over the world," Kneifel said. "It is clear that we can all learn from each other. The fact that the FIA recognizes who we (CART) are and what we do gives us confidence that we are indeed on the cutting edge of world wide motorsports issues and agendas. Having the opportunity to participate in the future of worldwide motorsports is indeed an honor!"

Kneifel, Whiting and Peart have built a relationship over the 2003 season as Whiting and Peart have observed Champ Car events from Race Control. In addition, Kneifel will attend this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at the fabled Monza circuit to view everything that goes on during an F1 weekend from an organizational standpoint.

"We are working hard to get Champ Car more in line with the FIA in terms of how they control their events from pre-race activities through flagging procedures as well as what they do in Race Control," Kneifel said. "I am learning a lot over here, but I can tell that there's a lot of stuff that they are picking up from me about what we do and the fact that they respect what we do in Champ Car is very important."

Kneifel will have a continuing role in the FIA Circuits Commission, and will attend the quarterly meetings of the organization in an ongoing endeavor to keep the Champ Car World Series among the top tiers of world motorsports.

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