Champ Car World Series unable to Return to St. Petersburg in 2004 INDIANAPOLIS (February 25, 2004) -- Officials with the Champ Car World Series ("Series") and the City of St. Petersburg regretfully announced Wednesday that, despite their best...
Champ Car World Series unable to Return to St. Petersburg in 2004
INDIANAPOLIS (February 25, 2004) -- Officials with the Champ Car World Series ("Series") and the City of St. Petersburg regretfully announced Wednesday that, despite their best efforts, they were not able to complete negotiations to acquire the rights to hold the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Open Wheel Racing Series, LLC ("Champ Car") attempted to acquire the rights to the race from the owner, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Inc. ("GPA"), a subsidiary of Dover Motorsports, Inc. However, Champ Car and the city could not proceed with plans for a race without the consent of former rights holder Tom Begley, due to a transaction between Begley and 2003 race promoter GPA. When a successful resolution of the matter between GPA and Begley could not be reached, despite repeated entreaties from the City of St. Petersburg as well as Champ Car officials, the Series was left with no choice but to leave St. Petersburg off the soon-to-be-released 2004 schedule.
"Champ Car worked very hard to hold the St. Petersburg race in 2004. The City of St. Petersburg, under the leadership of Mayor Rick Baker, provided phenomenal support as we tried to reach an agreement to hold the race," Champ Car President Dick Eidswick said. "Unfortunately, individuals unrelated to Champ Car kept that from happening, which is a disappointment not only to our drivers and teams, but more importantly to the many Champ Car fans throughout the Southeast.
"The success of last year's race makes this outcome even more of a disappointment," continued Eidswick. "We were looking to build on that success and all parties worked around the clock for the last two weeks in trying to work out a resolution to include the race on our 2004 schedule. The drivers called it one of the most enjoyable street courses on the circuit and the great fan support was a key factor in our desire to hold the event. While we regret that we can not race in St. Petersburg in 2004, we are hopeful about the possibility of returning in the future, if circumstances allow."