LAUSITZ, Germany - Sept. 14, 2001 - As a family overseas, Walker Racing and the CART community in cooperation with the Lausitz Speedway and the German government have banded together to fight terrorism at Saturday's inaugural German 500, which was...
LAUSITZ, Germany - Sept. 14, 2001 - As a family overseas, Walker Racing and the CART community in cooperation with the Lausitz Speedway and the German government have banded together to fight terrorism at Saturday's inaugural German 500, which was renamed The American Memorial to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
In addition, CART and EuroSpeedway officials have redirected celebratory events and activities planned for the race to focus on remembering the victims of the tragedy.
A joint statement was released by Hans-Jorg Fischer, president and CEO of EuroSpeedway Lausitz and Joe Heitzler, CART chairman and CEO regarding race day activities.
"We truly appreciate the support that the President of the State of Germany, Manfred Stolpe and the German government have shown for our race weekend. A request was made of EuroSpeedway and CART to rename this weekend's German 500 race The American Memorial in honor of the victims in the United States. This decision illustrates the solidarity between the German people, CART and those impacted by the tragic events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. We welcome the opportunity to make the victims of the tragedy the focus of The American Memorial, and want to say `Thank you' to all the fans, both at EuroSpeedway and those watching around the world on television for their concern and support as we begin to recover from this terrible tragedy."
The Championship Drivers Association, through its Benevolent Fund, announced a donation today of $50,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relieve Fund to aid the victims and families impacted by Tuesday's terrorist acts. The CDA represents the drivers who compete in the FedEx Championship Series.
Walker Racing's primary sponsor for the #5 car of driver Tora Takagi requested that their logos be removed from car and replaced by the American flag for Saturday's race as a tribute to and a sign of remembrance to the fallen American heroes.
Owner Derrick Walker spoke about the events that have unfolded in America this week. "We feel that racing is the best way we can help the victims of the tragedy. We support CART and the Lausitz Speedway's decision to race this weekend and feel we are making a statement saying "no to terrorism. The German people and their government have also shown great support and sympathy for the victims of the American tragedy.
Understandably, there have been a lot of emotions regarding Tuesday's terrorist attacks and a feeling of helplessness and what we could do to assist. So as a means of support the Walker Team is donating our prize money and salaries for the weekend to The American Red Cross for the victims and their families, who need all the support we can give them. In addition, the rest of the CART family will be making similar donations as well."
The American Memorial will be aired on a tape-delayed basis on Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. The race was originally scheduled to be broadcast live on Sept. 15, but out of respect for the victims of Tuesday's tragedy the race will be tape-delayed until the following Monday.