CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise on schedule for 2004

Round 14 For 14th Lexmark Indy 300 The 14th annual Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast will be round 14 of the Champ Car World Series from October 21 to 24 this year, a week after the Champ Cars make their first venture to Seoul in South ...

Round 14 For 14th Lexmark Indy 300

The 14th annual Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast will be round 14 of the Champ Car World Series from October 21 to 24 this year, a week after the Champ Cars make their first venture to Seoul in South Korea.

The Champ Car World Series released its 2004 racing schedule overnight at its Season Launch in Long Beach, California.

The calendar of races will take the Champ Car drivers and teams to five countries and three different continents, starting with round one in Long Beach on April 18.

Along with Australia and the United States, the 16-round series will include events in Canada, Mexico and a new stop in South Korea.

The challenging schedule features permanent road courses and temporary street circuits along with a trip to the Milwaukee Mile oval track.

"We are very excited about our entire 2004 schedule, and are especially happy with the diversity of challenges it presents to our teams and drivers," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick.

"Our fans have been outstanding in their support over this off-season and we are anxious to get started and provide them with another season of great racing."

Champ Cars will race on consecutive weekends three times in 2004, with Cleveland and Toronto in July, Road America and Denver in August and again with Seoul and the Gold Coast on back-to-back October weekends.

Champ Car World Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven has always maintained that the Lexmark Indy 300 is a crown jewel in the series.

The Lexmark Indy 300 has become an annual late-October feature on the international motorsport calendar, with 2004 no exception, as teams and drivers will be vying for vital championship points in the third-to-last event.

Lexmark Indy 300 General Manager James Ashworth said the Gold Coast race will play another key role in determining the 2004 champion.

"Last year the championship was decided on the streets of Surfers Paradise, with Paul Tracy holding aloft the Vanderbilt Cup. That could happen again this year," said Ashworth.

"We could also see the 14th different winner on the Gold Coast since the event was established in 1991. Ryan Hunter-Reay was a new winner last year, and there will be a host of quality drivers aiming to claim their first Gold Coast win this year."

Ashworth said the introduction of Korea is a sign of the growth potential of the Champ Car World Series.

"The new owners of the Champ Car World Series have a great vision for the championship, and South Korea is certainly a move in the right direction.

"It is also good news for us given the one hour time difference between the Australian east coast and Seoul. The awareness and interest in Champ Car racing will grow significantly in South Korea, and this will grow the television audience of the Lexmark Indy 300 in this region."

Last year the Lexmark Indy 300 reached a potential 250 million people around the world with a total economic and tourism impact of $50.43 million for Queensland.

The lineup of 750hp turbocharged Champ Cars will also be unveiled in Long Beach this week as part of the Season Launch.

"We know that our fans have been anxiously awaiting the chance to see what we have planned for 2004," said 2003 Lexmark Indy 300 race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

"We are equally anxious to give the fans a chance to see what we have in store as we gear up for what will be a very exciting racing season."

The Lexmark Indy 300 will be held on the Gold Coast from October 21 to 24. The Lexmark Indy 300 will feature round 14 of the Champ Car World Series and the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge -- round 11 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Kevin Kalkhoven