CHAMPCAR/CART: Rio reviews contract for CART event

DETROIT (January 29, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., received correspondence on Thursday, January 25 from the new administration of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that the city is reviewing all city contracts and that it has ...

DETROIT (January 29, 2001) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., received correspondence on Thursday, January 25 from the new administration of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that the city is reviewing all city contracts and that it has placed the March 25 FedEx Championship Series event on temporary administrative suspension.

The mayoral election in Brazil's second largest city at the end of 2000 resulted in a new administration taking office after the first of the year. One of the first actions taken by the new mayor was to place all existing city contracts under review; after receipt of the notice, CART initiated contact with the city on Friday, January 26, to seek resolution of the situation. "When we learned of the new mayor's review of all existing city contracts, we put into place a plan to cooperate fully and supply any additional information needed for prompt resolution," said CART President and CEO Joseph Heitzler. "CART recognizes the importance of this event to the economy of the city and Brazil itself. It has a huge following throughout South America, and we do not wish even a momentary interruption in our long-term relationship with this important market for us."

CART has a strong ally in Emerson Fittipaldi, former CART and Formula One champion and now event promoter of the Rio race. Fittipaldi, a native Brazilian, is actively working to explore alternatives for resolution of the situation. Other CART management and representatives were preparing to travel to Brazil to ensure the continuation of the race. Negotiations with officials of the city of Rio de Janeiro, as well as representatives of the regional and national governments, are already underway.

"While March 25 is fast approaching, we are committed to doing all we can to keep the Rio race on the schedule for our fans," said Heitzler.

-CART

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Emerson Fittipaldi