IRL: Don Francosco honorary starter at Homestead

MIAMI (March 10, 2001) -- Don Francisco, celebrated host of the popular show "Sabado Gigante" and spokesperson for 123.com, has been named Honorary Starter of the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel. Don ...

MIAMI (March 10, 2001) -- Don Francisco, celebrated host of the popular show "Sabado Gigante" and spokesperson for 123.com, has been named Honorary Starter of the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel. Don Francisco will wave the green flag for the 300-mile event, which features the same cars and drivers that compete in the Indianapolis 500, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 8. "As a Hispanic who lives in South Florida, it is an honor to have been asked to perform this important symbolic act for the race," said Don Francisco. "I am proud to be a part of the different cultures living in Miami and of this sport and will personally be cheering for my Chilean compatriot and friend, Eliseo Salazar." One of the most popular shows in the history of television, "Sabado Gigante" began airing in 1962 in Chile. As the years passed, Don Francisco became a very popular personality, not only in Chile, but in all of Latin America. In 1986, the show aired for the first time on WLTV-Channel 23, owned by Univision in Miami, and it was transmitted by Univision to the United States and Latin America. In addition, Galavision transmits the show to the rest of the world. In 1992, "Sabado Gigante" was recognized as the oldest show in the history of television by the Guinness Book of World Records. The show has never had a repeat of any of its programs, and it continues today with its original format. Don Francisco was born in Chile as Mario Kreutzberger, the son of Jewish German immigrants that were able to leave Germany during the conflicts of World War II. He moved to New York to follow in his father's footsteps as a technician, but began acting and hosting his own television show upon his return to Chile. During his 38 years as a television host, he has received many awards from private and public enterprises in the United States and Latin America. Additionally, he has presided over the "Teleton" in Chile since 1978, a march that has collected contributions exceeding $130 million and built six hospitals for the care of over 50,000 handicapped children. For his efforts, he was recognized by the United Nations and received the title of UNICEF Ambassador. Family-friendly priced tickets for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami begin at $10 for Friday and $20 for Saturday, with reserved Sunday grandstand seats ranging from $25 to $45. Youth 12 and under are free Friday and Saturday when accompanied by a paying adult, while grandstand seats for youth 18 and under are $15 on Sunday if purchased in advance. Weekend paddock tickets are $20, with youth 12 and under free. Individual weekend passes, including reserved grandstand seat and Paddock pass, cost $70, a $25 savings. Parking is free all weekend, For additional information or to order tickets, call (305) 230-RACE or order on-line at

-www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eliseo Salazar , Mario K