CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey track opens

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - - March 6, 2001 - - The circuit is ready and the finishing touches are being put on the ancillary facilities for what will prove to be one of the most exciting races in the history of CART. The Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand...

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - - March 6, 2001 - - The circuit is ready and the finishing touches are being put on the ancillary facilities for what will prove to be one of the most exciting races in the history of CART.

The Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix presented by Herdez, Round #1 of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series schedule, will open its gates to the general public for the first time at 8:00 a.m. this Thursday, March 8. With over 200,000 suite, reserved seats and general admission tickets already sold, the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix is well on its way to becoming one of the best-attended races in series history.

"For me, the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix is the realization of a dream," said event owner U. E. "Pat" Patrick. "I have long wanted to return to race in Mexico and have been trying to make this event a reality for several years. Our goal in creating this great facility, and race, has been to build the most beautiful road course in the world and develop a premier event for the fans in Mexico. I believe we have done that. The Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix represents the direction that CART has taken, successfully, over the last decade. We are bringing world-class racing, at world-class facilities, to the people. I couldn't be more pleased with the interest on the part of Mexico's CART fans." Patrick said.

All three support race series will be on track for practice on Thursday beginning with the Copa McCormick Campeonato Mustangs at 11:30 a.m., followed by the Ford Focus Celebrity Race drivers. The Dayton Indy Lights will practice at 2:00 p.m. FedEx Championship Series drivers will take to the track for the first time at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 9. Saturday, March 10 will be highlighted by Champ Car practice at 9:45 a.m., and qualifying at 1:45 p.m. Additionally, there will be a 10-lap Ford Focus Celebrity Race at 12:15 and the 20-lap Copa McCormick Campeonato Mustang race at 3:15 p.m. Sunday, March 11, will feature four races. The Copa McCormick Campeonato Mustangs will race for the second day at 10:00 a.m. with a second Ford Focus Celebrity race at 12:15 p.m. The Dayton Indy Lights race will be run at 1:00 p.m. with the start of the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix presented by Herdez set for 3:00 p.m.

Monterrey, Mexico was chosen from among 16 cities from around the world to host this spectacular event. The 2.1-mile, 12-turn track was constructed at Fundidora Park, which is located just four minutes from downtown Monterrey on the site of the first iron and steel factory in Latin America. Approximately 4000 jobs were created and more than 120 companies will receive direct economic impact from the CART race with an estimated $35 million (US) being spent on peripheral services. Additionally, the city of Monterrey will receive worldwide media coverage, which will promote the city as a great tourist attraction.

"I want to thank our partners and sponsors Tecate, Telmex and Herdez for their support of this race," Patrick said. "I would also like to thank the Governor of Nuevo Leon, Fernando Canales Clariond, his Chief of Staff, Carlos Dominguez Ahedo, the Secretario de Obras Publicas, Oscar Bulnes, park employees, the police personnel, as well as all the officials involved in this event. Without their cooperation and hard work this event would not enjoy the success it has to date. I especially want to thank Ron Dickson for his great effort in making this event possible and my friend, Hector Ayala, for his patience, cooperation, and understanding, especially during the last three months." Patrick said.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., city and state officials from Monterrey and Nuevo Leon, Pat Patrick, partner Gerald Forsythe and Tecate announced the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix presented by Herdez in April of 2000. Located in northern Mexico, Monterrey is two-and-a-half hours by car from Laredo, Texas and less than an hour by plane from Houston, Texas. CART last raced in Mexico in 1981, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodrigues in Mexico City.

-MEXGP

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gerald Forsythe