DENVER (July 24,
2002) - The Grand Prix of Denver today announced it has
reached an agreement with Shell Oil Products U.S. to serve as
the title sponsor for the auto racing event set to run August
30 - Sept. 1 with the cars and stars of the CART FedEx
The three-day event, featuring a nine-turn, 1.65-mile
temporary race course on the streets surrounding Pepsi Center
and adjacent to Lower Downtown Denver, will now be known as
the SHELL GRAND PRIX OF DENVER.
The Labor Day weekend event marks the return of world-class
auto racing to the streets of the Mile High City for the first
time since 1991. Last year Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:DVD),
announced the renewal of the popular motorsports event with a
new temporary circuit in 2002.
The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is set for Sunday, Sept. 1, at
1 p.m. (MDT). Shell is a longtime sponsor in the CART FedEx
Championship Series with Team Rahal, a major sponsor for the
Shell 300 at California's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and an
associate sponsor at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago and
Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Shell recently began
converting the majority of Texaco stations to the Shell brand
in several U.S. markets and plan to complete this conversion
before June 2004.
"The Shell Grand Prix of Denver is a great way for us to
increase our presence in the Denver market," said Stu Crum,
Shell manager of marketing strategy. "The Grand Prix event
will help set the stage for our brand conversion in a market
that is very important to us. The Denver area has always been
a hotbed for racing and the Shell Grand Prix of Denver should
be one of the premier racing events in the country."
Shell is now in its tenth season as a sponsor of Team Rahal.
Jimmy Vasser, the 1996 CART series champion from Las Vegas, is
the driver of the No. 8 Shell Ford Lola in the CART FedEx
Championship Series. Three-time CART champion and 1986 Indy
500 winner Bobby Rahal and television icon David Letterman own
Vasser's Shell team. Team Rahal will field two cars in the
Shell Grand Prix of Denver with Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr.
driving the 900-horsepower open-wheel machines.
"We are extremely proud to have Shell join us in becoming a
major partner in the Grand Prix," said Frew, vice president
and general manager of the Shell Grand Prix of Denver. "Shell
has been a major supporter of racing for decades and we regard
this sponsorship as a strong endorsement of our event. This
new association with Shell will bring the Denver area another
world-class sporting event and a chance for local fans to see
some of the world's top drivers in their own backyard."
Shell is the leading retailer of gasoline in the United States
with approximately 9,000 Shell-branded service stations and
the potential to put its brand on the majority of 13,000
Rahal, the CART champion in 1986, 1987 and 1992, competed in
the 1990 and 1991 Denver racing events and placed second in
the inaugural race in 1990. Rahal also was instrumental in
bringing CART back to the streets of Denver during his interim
term as CART's president and CEO in 2000.
"This partnership with Shell and the Grand Prix of Denver is a
tremendous opportunity to make the race one of the premier
racing events in North America," said Rahal. "The Long Beach
race is a classic and having the same people behind the Shell
Grand Prix of Denver means this new venue could become another
racing spectacular. I'm excited and proud to have Shell as the
title sponsor for the Grand Prix."
The Shell Grand Prix of Denver, whose circuit include portions
of Auraria Parkway and the streets surrounding Pepsi Center,
will have a complete compliment of racing machines and drivers
in the three days of competition including CART stars like
Vasser, Jourdain, Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy, Cristiano da
Matta, Dario Franchitti and Kenny Brack as well as famed team
owners such as Rahal, Letterman, Paul Newman, Carl Haas, Chip
Ganassi, Pat Patrick, Barry Green and Jerry Forsythe.
In addition to the CART field, the Shell Grand Prix also will
feature the Toyota Atlantic Championship, the BFGoodrich
Trans-Am sports cars and a vintage sports car race.
Practice and qualifying for the Shell Grand Prix of Denver is
scheduled for Friday (August 30) in all categories with
Saturday's (August 31) activities including the Toyota
Atlantic race and qualifying for CART and Trans-Am.
Sunday's schedule will begin with CART champ car warm-up at 9
a.m. followed by a vintage car race in the morning. The Shell
Grand Prix of Denver will start at 1 p.m. with the Trans-Am
race set for 4 p.m. Tickets for the three-day event are
currently available through Ticketmaster, at the Pepsi Center
box office, by calling toll-free, (888) 82-SPEED or logging on
the Grand Prix website at
The Shell Grand Prix of Denver will be televised live on the
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