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Cart announces rescheduling of Mexico City event; Mexico Gran Premio 2002 moved to mid-November date.
INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2002) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) announced today the rescheduling of the Mexico Gran Premio 2002 in Mexico City, Mexico. The race, originally set as Round 17 in the CART FedEx Championship Series scheduled for October 13, has been moved to the weekend of November 15-17 and the event now becomes the final round of competition in 2002.
Although the new date shifts the Mexico City event to the end of the season, the same race weekend schedule remains intact and will be contested just as any other date on the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule.
Working in conjunction with its promoters, CART has agreed to move the date of the race to November 17 - effectively making the Mexico Gran Premio 2002 the season finale on the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule - in order to provide a more flexible time frame for the completion of event facilities on the 2.747-mile road course at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The changes will provide the venue with what will be one of the most spectacular events on the CART calendar.
The rescheduling of the Mexico Gran Premio 2002 is being made possible in part by California Speedway, which has hosted the season finale since the first CART FedEx Championship Series race there in 1997, and Toyota, the title sponsor of the The 500 Presented by Toyota at the 2.029-mile oval in Fontana, Calif.
With the Mexico City event now becoming the final round of FedEx Championship Series competition in 2002, The 500 presented by Toyota will serve as Round 19 in the series and will be run as scheduled November 1-3 at California Speedway.
"I want to make it very clear that CART and the FedEx Championship Series are grateful to our partners at California Speedway and Toyota for cooperating in this schedule adjustment," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "Working with our partners, we were able to come to a resolution. We're very excited about the Champ Cars returning to Mexico City and by making this schedule adjustment it's clear that everything will be in place and ready to stage the world-class event that the fans are expecting and that CART will produce. The race in Fontana will go on as scheduled and we look forward to returning to a venue that has produced many memorable and thrilling Champ Car moments. We remain committed to California Speedway, the fans in California, and Toyota."
"We recognize the situation presented to us and in the best interest of the series and the growth of the sport, we concur with moving the Mexico City race," said California Speedway President Bill Miller. "We will continue to market and promote The 500 presented by Toyota, the only 500-mile race on the CART schedule, just as aggressively as ever. We look forward to staging another great event for Champ Car fans."
Mexico-based entertainment giant Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE), the local promoter of the Mexico City event, remains dedicated to showcasing the CART FedEx Championship Series in Mexico City in 2002 and beyond.
"CIE is working in accord with all parties involved to make the Mexico Gran Premio 2002 the best event it can possibly be," said CIE Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman Rodrigo Gonzalez Calvillo. "With the new race date scheduled for mid November, it will allow us ample time to focus on presenting a great event for the fans and a fitting conclusion to the CART season."
The FedEx Championship Series returns to Mexico for the second time this season after seeing a record turnout for the second annual Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix in March. It will mark the first time that the Champ Cars have competed in Mexico City since 1981.
"We are looking forward to a tremendous weekend in Mexico City," said Pook. "We fully expect this race to be one of the most well-attended sporting events not only in Mexico, but in the world."
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.