CHAMPCAR/CART: McDonald's Champ Car To Be Auctioned For CART Charities

MCDONALD'S 1999 CHAMP CAR HEADLINES BIDDING ITEMS FOR CART CHARITIES ON-LINE AUCTION DETROIT (September 23, 1999) - Most people do not possess the financial resources to own a Champ Car team in the FedEx Championship Series, but CART Charities...

MCDONALD'S 1999 CHAMP CAR HEADLINES BIDDING ITEMS FOR CART CHARITIES ON-LINE AUCTION

DETROIT (September 23, 1999) - Most people do not possess the financial resources to own a Champ Car team in the FedEx Championship Series, but CART Charities is providing an opportunity for the next best thing.

CART Charities has launched an on-line auction on the series' official website - cart.com - and announced today that the centerpiece of an assortment of unique items up for bid is an actual 1999 Champ Car driven by Tony Kanaan for the McDonald's Championship Racing Team.

The No. 44 McDonald's-sponsored Reynard chassis will not include the 900-horsepower Honda engine, which will deter the winning bidder's urges to take the former ride of the 1998 CART Rookie of the Year for a 200-mile-per-hour spin around the neighborhood and be in line for a major speeding ticket from local authorities.

The McDonald's Champ Car will be in show car specs, which means it will not include the engine and the actual Pi system electronic dash will be replaced with a mock-up dash, but the rest is the real deal, including Kanaan's seat. The rolling chassis alone has a worth of $450,000, but one lucky bidder will have an opportunity to get an incredible deal on the conversation piece of all conversation pieces.

"Funds raised through the CART Charities On-Line Auction will benefit a number of worthwhile causes including the Buoniconti Fund, and I could not think of a better way to show our support,'' McDonald's Championship Racing team owner Jerry Forsythe said. "It is our hope that donating one of our 1999 No. 44 McDonald's Champ Cars will help to significantly increase the level of funds raised while enabling someone the opportunity to own a piece of CART history. A lot of people collect model racing cars. This one's just a bit bigger."

The McDonald's Champ Car is just one of many specialty items that are being auctioned for the benefit of CART Charities. Some of the other items that have been on the auction block or are scheduled for bidding are:

* Newman/Haas Racing firesuit signed by drivers Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi, and co-owners Paul Newman, the Academy Award-winning actor, and Carl Haas.

* Team jacket from three-time defending series champion Target/Chip Ganassi Racing with signatures from owner Chip Ganassi, 1996 champion Jimmy Vasser and 1999 rookie phenom Juan Montoya.

* Pace car ride with auto racing legend Mario Andretti at Laguna Seca Raceway.

* Hand-stitched quilt made from the actual underwear of the FedEx Championship Series drivers.

* Valvoline crew shirt and Honda helmet visor signed by driver Gil de Ferran.

* Motorola firesuit signed by driver Mark Blundell.

* MCI firesuit signed by rookie Cristiano da Matta.

* Sterling cufflinks from Tiffany's, maker of the Vanderbilt Cup that is awarded to the winner of the U.S. 500.

* CART Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach's signature Stetson hat.

* PPG Pace Car firesuit signed by driver Patti Hughes.

* Signed canvas prints of Mario and Michael Andretti.

* Driving 101 deluxe package

To participate in the on-line auction that will benefit the Buoniconti Fund and the Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary (CARA), interested parties head to cart.com. Click on CART programs on the left-side index of the main page and then click onto the CART Charities icon. The page offers details on the auction as well as the items currently up for bidding with photographs of the piece.

The auction allows fans to continually bid on items and it is awarded to the highest bidder at the close of the item's auction period. Fans can go on-line throughout the period to check the status of a bid as well as view other items.

The auction is ongoing throughout the year with the initial round of items scheduled to conclude Nov. 1. Following the initial round, themed auctions will be held including Holiday Shopping Week in November.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Tony Kanaan , Mark Blundell , Mario Andretti , Paul Newman , Carl Haas , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta