The return of the CART FedEx Championship Series to Denver, Colorado this year received a boost on Thursday when long-time Championship Auto Racing Teams partner Shell Oil announced that it would be the title sponsor of the August 30- September 1...
The return of the CART FedEx Championship Series to Denver, Colorado this year received a boost on Thursday when long-time Championship Auto Racing Teams partner Shell Oil announced that it would be the title sponsor of the August 30- September 1 event, to be known as the Shell Grand Prix of Denver.
The Champ Cars will be making their first visit to downtown Denver since 1991 this season as they will do battle on a new nine-turn, 1.65-mile temporary street course. Shell, who has been a part of the sponsorship package with CART's Team Rahal for the last 10 seasons, has also served as the title sponsor of the CART event at Laguna Seca in recent seasons.
"The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is a great way for us to increase our presence in the Denver market," said Shell manager of marketing strategy Stu Crum. "The Denver area has always been a hotbed for racing and the Shell Grand Prix of Denver should be one of the premier racing events in the country."
This season Shell is the primary sponsor for the Team Rahal machine of 1996 series champion Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), the team owned by three-time CART titlewinner Bobby Rahal as well as popular late-night talk show host David Letterman. Rahal himself competed in two Denver events during his career, finishing second to Al Unser Jr. in the inaugural 1990 race.
"This partnership with Shell and the Grand Prix of Denver is a tremendous opportunity to make the race one of the premier racing events in North America," Rahal said. "The Long Beach race is a classic and having the same people (Dover Downs Entertainment) behind the Shell Grand Prix of Denver means this new venue could become another racing spectacular."
The race will also be supported by the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship as well as the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, and will get underway with practice on Friday August 30. The Champ Cars will have two rounds of qualifying to set the grid for Sunday's race, which will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel at 3 p.m. ET. Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Pepsi Center box office, by calling toll-free (888) 82-SPEED or through the event's official website www.gpdenver.com.