Denver to hosts 2003 event

Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship to come to Shell Grand Prix of Denver in '03. Fran-Am 2000 feature up-and-coming drivers from U.S., Canada and around the world. DENVER (Dec. 19, 2002) - The Shell Grand Prix of Denver...

Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship to come to Shell Grand Prix of Denver in '03.

Fran-Am 2000 feature up-and-coming drivers from U.S., Canada and around the world.

DENVER (Dec. 19, 2002) - The Shell Grand Prix of Denver announced today that round seven of next year's Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series will be contested during its race weekend, August 29- 31, 2003, as a support race to the CART Bridgestone Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford event.

The Fran-Am 2000 Series, sponsored by Michelin International, will race six times prior to the Denver event, at venues such as Formula One's Grand Prix of Canada at Montréal, Watkins Glen (with Grand-Am), Toronto and Vancouver (both with CART).

"We are proud to be part of the second Shell Grand Prix of Denver," said Fran-Am President and CEO Thierry Burckhart. "We couldn't hope for a better setting to showcase our series, plus it is next to our home office in Aspen, so it just couldn't be better. We are convinced that spectators will greatly appreciate our fiery young talents. Fran-Am is very serious about developing new American racers and we are doing everything we can to make easy, affordable and to provide the right rewards and incentives."

The open-wheel Fran-Am 2000 championship is a cousin of the renowned Formula Renault program and its 17 championships in 20 countries from Europe, South America and Asia. The Fran-Am 2000 chassis is manufactured in the same ATR facility that makes Ferrari's Formula One chassis. The powerplant is a sealed 2.0-liter, 186-horsepower fuel-injected engine capable of running an entire season without a rebuild.

"These cars will add a new dimension to what is sure to be an exciting and competitive race weekend," said John Frew, vice president and general manager of the Shell Grand Prix of Denver. "Our sport is constantly looking for future road racing talent and this series certainly has a history of producing top drivers. Here's another chance for our fans in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region to get a preview of what's to come in road racing."

Formula Renault is internationally recognized as a premier training ground for those who aspire to reach the pinnacle of open-wheel road racing. Dating back to 1971, drivers such as Alain Prost, Jacques Laffitte and Olivier Panis have graduated from its ranks. The McLaren team's young sensation Kimi Raïkkonen went straight from Formula Renault to Formula One after winning the 2000 British championship. Brazilians Felipe Massa, Antonio Bernolli and Antonio Pizzonia, recently hired by Jaguar's F1 team, are also graduates of Formula Renault.

The Fran-Am 2000 race is expected to run on Saturday, August 30, with qualifying to take place on Friday, August 29. For information on the Fran- Am series, visit

Denver is the second Dover Motorsports Inc. venue that will host a Fran-Am Series race in 2003. Last month, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg announced an agreement to host the finale of the five-race Fran-Am 2000 Winter World Championship.

Other support races for the 2003 Shell Grand Prix of Denver include the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, both of which ran at the inaugural event in 2002.

The Second Annual Shell Grand Prix of Denver is set to take place August 29- 31, 2003 on a 1.65-mile, nine-turn temporary race circuit on the streets around Pepsi Center adjacent to Denver's Lower Downtown. Tickets will be on public sale beginning Feb. 3, 2003. For more information, visit the official race Web site at or call toll-free, (888) 82- SPEED.

The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is owned and operated by Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, Inc., a subsidiary of Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD). Dover Motorsports, Inc., is a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States. Its subsidiaries operate seven tracks (four permanent facilities and three temporary circuits) in six states and promote events under the auspices of the sport's four premier sanctioning bodies - NASCAR, CART, IRL and NHRA. The company owns and operates Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.; the new Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, Tenn.; Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Mo.; and Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn. It also organizes and promotes the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California, the Shell Grand Prix of Denver in Colorado and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.


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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Felipe Massa , Alain Prost