CHAMPCAR/CART: Series returns to EuroSpeedway Lausitz in 2003

CHAMPCAR/CART: Series returns to EuroSpeedway Lausitz in 2003

INDIANAPOLIS (January 10, 2003) -Returning to one of the finest oval tracks in Europe, the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will complete its May European Tour with an event at EuroSpeedway Lausitz featuring a battle...

INDIANAPOLIS (January 10, 2003) -Returning to one of the finest oval tracks in Europe, the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will complete its May European Tour with an event at EuroSpeedway Lausitz featuring a battle on the state-of-the-art two-mile oval May 10-11.

CART has added the two-day event to partner with Thursday's announcement of a race at Brands Hatch to give the series a pair of races in Europe during the month of May. The German 500 will be the only major open-wheel oval-track racing event in Europe in 2003. The Champ Car World Series ran a successful event at Lausitz in 2001 where nearly 150,000 fans streamed through the turnstiles during the three days of action, but suspended the event last year due to financial concerns with the speedway's operating company.

Memo Gidley.
Photo by Markus Arias-Roehner.

Those concerns have been addressed and CART will enter into a strategic partnership with EuroSpeedway, reassuring the fans, participants and sponsors of the stability of the event, which will be run with the able assistance of the EuroSpeedway staff. To reward that enthusiasm and to help draw fans back to the return of the 230-mph Champ Cars, the EuroSpeedway organizers announced that they will honor all tickets sold to last year's race for the 2003 event.

"Since the suspension of the race in July 2002 I have met with Chris Pook several times and negotiated the return of the Champ Cars to Germany," said EuroSpeedway Lausitz CEO Hans-Jorg Fischer. "The result is very pleasing, especially for my team, for the state of Brandenburg and for the Lausitz region. I am particularly happy that CART sees eye to eye with us, so that the tickets for the race that was cancelled last year are valid for this year's event. Official ticket sales will begin in Germany on the first of February."

The second running of the German 500 will showcase the fastest North American open-wheel racing series on one of the world's top tracks, a combination that thrilled European fans in 2001. The race itself featured nine lead changes over the 154 laps in a race that was led to the finish by a pair of cars from Team Rahal.

"With its two-mile superspeedway, EuroSpeedway Lausitz is one of the most impressive and modern motor-racing circuits in the world. When we did not return in 2002, the drivers and teams lamented the fact that we did not go back to such a spectacular facility," said CART CEO and President Christopher R. Pook. "The cooperation we experienced from the EuroSpeedway staff in the premiere year, 2001, was exemplary despite the tragic events that had just occurred on September 11, and almost 150,000 spectators demonstrated that Champ Car racing has a great number of fans in Germany and we will give them every reason to return to see us in 2003. With EuroSpeedway Lausitz CEO Hans-Jorg Fischer and his team we have very professional, friendly and reliable partners in Germany and we are confident that we are going to be able to build on the success of the inaugural event."

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta led a list of open-wheel stars this past season competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernandez Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Mo Nunn Racing, Walker Racing and others. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 19-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Memo Gidley , Chris Pook , Cristiano da Matta , Mo Nunn