The Champ Car World Series today announced a 15-race schedule for the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season.
Next year’s schedule features each of the 14 venues currently on the 2005 slate and adds an exciting return to Houston, Texas. The Houston event will mark a first in the long history of the Champ Car World Series as the race event takes place under the Houston lights on Saturday night, May 13. The announcement marks the return of Champ Car to the state of Texas and to the city of Houston that previously hosted the Champ Cars from 1998-2001.
The schedule again features a balance of traditional events at fabled venues along with a number of successful new sites that have shown great promise for the future. Houston is the only addition to the schedule at this time other than a weekend date change moving the second running of the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton forward a week to July 23, where it will precede the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose weekend.
“We feel that we have been able to create a strong schedule that will provide one of the toughest tests in all of motorsports,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “We have seen great new events like those in San Jose and Edmonton providing great excitement while our longer-running venues have been able to create new enthusiasm in their markets. We believe this gives us a great platform for our valued commercial partners and will allow us to attract many new sponsors, teams and drivers.”
The schedule will again start with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, marking the 23rd time that the Champ Cars have competed on the Southern California streets. It will be the third consecutive season that Long Beach has served as the season opener, following a 2005 lidlifter that hosted 175,000 fans who cheered Sebastien Bourdais toward that victory.
The 25th running of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland – the longest-running temporary road course in series history – will take place at the North Coast on June 25th, one week after the turbocharged Champ Cars hit Portland International Raceway for the 23rd straight year. The series will again visit the venerable Milwaukee Mile on its customary June 4th date, moving back to a Sunday afternoon start after three seasons of running on Saturday.
The 15-race schedule is an increase over the 14-race slate of 2005, marking the first time since 1999 that Champ Car has added to the number of races on its schedule. There may be more races added as the 2005 season continues as the series continues to investigate potential race venues.
“Our intent is to put out a schedule that our teams, sponsors and fans can trust, and we will hold to our policy of not announcing an event until we are certain that we have a deal in place that works for all our partners,” said Executive Vice-President of Development, Governmental Affairs and Planning Joe Chrnelich. “As we continue building, you will see us maintain a disciplined focus on growing long term strength in all our markets. Without a doubt, the strong success this year is directly attributable to positive collaboration with our loyal family of promoters who we believe are among the best in the business”.
The series currently features eight domestic races and seven international events, covering five countries and three continents. The season’s final U.S.-based event will take place in Las Vegas, tentatively scheduled for September 23 pending a joint review of the combination event by the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Champ Car officials to be held after this year’s race. The 2006 season will end at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on November 5, in an event that holds the series single-race attendance record when it drew more than 402,000 in 2003.
2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Season Schedule
April 9 Long Beach, California
May 13 Houston, Texas (Sat. Night)
May 21 Monterrey, Mexico
June 4 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
June 18 Portland, Oregon
June 25 Cleveland, Ohio
July 9 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
July 23 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
July 30 San Jose, California
Aug. 13 Denver, Colorado
Aug. 27 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sept. 23 Las Vegas, Nevada*
Oct. 15 Ansan, Korea
Oct. 22 Surfers Paradise, Australia
Nov. 5 Mexico City, Mexico