NOW AVAILABLE! The Official Directory for CART Racing
©1997 SpeedCenter Internet Publishing, Inc.
New races in the Far East and Texas highlight the 1998 PPG CART World Series schedule announced Wednesday by Championship Auto Racing Teams President and CEO Andrew Craig. The announcement comes on the eve of CART's final 1997 race - the Marlboro 500 Presented By Toyota at the new California Speedway, Sunday, September 28 (Same day coverage on ESPN at 8:00 pm ET).
The first-year events in Motegi, Japan and Houston, Texas push the total CART schedule of races to 19 for next season. The announcement, which was scheduled to be made next month at the PPG CART World Series Awards Banquet in Los Angeles, was moved up following approval by the CART Board of Directors earlier this week.
The demand for our style of racing continues to grow and we are pleased to be able to take our races to people throughout the world," Craig said. "Our new events in Japan and Houston are great additions to our schedule and we look forward to the 1998 season."
The 1998 CART season begins with a Florida event - the third-annual CART Spring Training, February 3 at Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex in suburban Miami. The testing event offers all of CART's teams the opportunity to fine tune their operations as they prepare for the season-opening race - the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami - March 1, at the same facility.
The CART series then takes a couple of weeks off before loading its tons of equipment and the people who manage it to travel to Japan for the inaugural Budweiser 500 on Saturday, March28, at the new Twin Ring Motegi, approximately 60 miles northeast of Tokyo. It's a quick turnaround for the CART teams as they return to southern California one week later for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 5.
After a pair of weekends off, the CART teams return to action April 26 for the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota at Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania.
May will be a busy month as the CART teams pack up again for another venture outside North America, going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Rio 400 on May 10. The CART teams turn their attention to America's heartland on Saturday, May 23 to build on the first-year success of the Motorola 300 at Gateway International Raceway in suburban St. Louis. The Miller 200 is next up as CART returns to the oldest circuit in its series for the Miller 200 at the legendary Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., on May 31.
The last of three-straight races is June 7 at the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix on the newly extended circuit on Belle Isle in the middle of the Detroit River. CART's other June race finds the 200-plus-mile-per-hour cars on the twisting road course at Portland International Raceway for the Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline June 21 in Oregon.
July is a busy month for CART's racers as the Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland returns on the 12th at the Burke Lakefront Airport on the shores of Lake Erie. The next weekend is Molson Indy time as CART's race cars wind their way through the Toronto streets at Exhibition Place. On July 26, the third annual U.S. 500 Presented by Toyota returns to the pavement of Michigan Speedway where CART drivers qualify at speeds that are a tick under four miles per minute on the two-mile oval.
Two of North America's top road courses provide the venues for CART's August dates. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course's challenging layout is home to the Miller Lite 200 on August 9 and the four-mile circuit at Road America returns to the schedule with the Texaco/Havoline 200 on August 16.
CART swings back to the West Coast for a pair of races as summer winds down. A brand new Canadian street circuit awaits CART's teams in 1998 for the September 6 Molson Indy Vancouver. The high-speed, twisting corners and elevation changes that make up Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., are the site of the Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Texaco/Havoline 300 on September 13.
The streets of downtown Houston come to life with sounds of CART's machines for the Texaco Grand Prix of Houston on October 4 and the schedule takes CART's teams "down under" to the streets of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia for the October 18 IndyCarnival.
The 19-race season comes to an end November 1 when CART returns to southern California for the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at the 2-mile oval at California Speedway
The television schedule for all races will be announced at a later date.
The complete 1998 PPG CART World Series Schedule:
Source: CART News Service