Six teams commit for next season

Six of the 10 teams competing in the CART Championship Series were on hand at a press conference at last weekend's Denver race to express their support and commitment for 2003 and beyond.

Six teams commit for next season

Representatives from Cosworth and Bridgestone were also on hand to lend their vocal support for next year's Champ Car series as, of course, was CART president Chris Pook.

At least 18 cars were promised for next year by Pook following a year when grids have thinned out, with teams either switching to the rival Indy Racing League or running out of money.

More teams, including Andretti Green Racing, look set to move from CART to the IRL for 2003, but Pook refuses to be pessimistic about the future.

"I continue to hear speculation about the number of cars in our series," he said. "It's the same sort of speculation that I heard in Long Beach in 1976 and 1977, when the spin doctors were out there saying there would never be a Long Beach Grand Prix.

"It's the same sort of conversation I heard in 1983 when we stopped doing Formula 1 (in Long Beach) and went to CART in 1984.

"Well the spin doctors were wrong on both occasions. Today we have the same spin doctors doing the same thing in this series. I am here to tell you that we will have 18 cars in this series next year. I am also here to tell you, also, it could well be 21 cars."

Pook, however, declined to offer any specifics, noting that team owners "are not going to be forced to tell you who their sponsor is or who their driver is in the middle of August, beginning September. This is not the way this business works. They have every right to announce who their sponsors are and who their drivers are in their own time. That is value to their sponsors and we are not going to try and take that value away."

The team owners and their representatives on hand included Fernandez Racing's Tom Anderson, Gerald Forsythe, Carl Haas, Pat Patrick, Derrick Walker and Team Rahal general manager Scott Roembke. In keeping with Pook's sentiments, none offered much in the way of specific plans; all expressed their commitment to CART in '03 and their confidence that Pook's goals of 18 to 22-car fields would be achieved.

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