Thursday July 13th, 2000
Formula One will soon face competition from CART in Europe, following yesterday's announcement by CART of two European races in next year's schedule.
The first race is the 'German 500', a 500 mile (800 km) race to be held on September 15 on a two mile (3.2 km) banked super speedway at the yet to be opened Eurospeedway Berlin Brandenburg (formerly known as the Lausitzring), 50 km north of Dresden, Germany. The second race is to be held on September 22 at the Rockingham speedway, still being constructed at Corby in Northamptonshire, England, within a few miles of where many of the engines, chassis and gearboxes used in the CART series are manufactured.
At a press conference yesterday in Berlin, Hans-Jorg Fischer, managing director of the Lausitzring GmbH, together with the president of CART, Bobby Rahal, announced the signing of a five year agreement for the German race. Rahal also spoke about the Rockingham race: "We are delighted to include Rockingham, England, as a part of the newly expanded calendar for the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. We are well aware of the huge following our sport has, particularly in the United Kingdom, both on TV and with British fans visiting our events in the USA. We're now looking forward to bringing the world's fastest form of circuit racing to Rockingham."
Currently, the CART series has races in Canada, Japan, Brazil and Australia, as well as its home, the United States. With these two additions to the calendar, the CART series is moving in on more of Formula One's territory - how each series fares with the increased competition is yet to be seen. The managing director of Rockingham, Peter Davies, feels they are similar in stature, but can live together: "America's premier motor racing series will be a huge spectacle, comparable to, but different from Formula One."