German 500 Schedule Altered, Memorial Activities Planned - 2001

9/13/2001 5:57:21 PM

German 500 Practice Report
Circuit:Eurospeedway (2.0-mile oval) Lausitz, Germany
2000 Winner:N/A (inaugural Champ Car race here)
Weather:Showers, cool, 52-degrees F

The victims of Tuesday's terrorist activities in the United States will be commemorated in a series of tributes throughout the weekend as the CART FedEx Championship Series makes it's inaugural appearance at the new EuroSpeedway oval in Lausitz, Germany.

In the first of several planned actions, CART teams and officials, as part of a German national observance, stopped all activities at 10:00 a.m. local time for a five-minute period of silence. An additional candlelight vigil, open to both fans and members of the CART community, was conducted at 5:00 p.m. today, in a memorial plaza erected by the EuroSpeedway staff just behind the main circuit grandstand.

Rain washed out practice today, and the rest of the weekend schedule has been altered to eliminate the originally-scheduled qualifying activities on Friday. Instead, a pair of practice sessions are planned for tomorrow, with current driver's championship points standings to be used to determine the starting grid for Saturday's 500-kilometer race.

Pre-race activities now will include prayers and tributes for the victims, a minute of silence, and a "Lap of Remembrance" for the victims of Tuesday's tragedy. On the special lap, cars will move slowly down pit lane in grid formation. A German fireman, assigned to each team's pit, will step forward with a German flag, alongside a crewman from each team with an American flag. The cars will then return to the track for their final parade/pace laps and the race start.

All CART participants will wear a red, white, and blue commemorative ribbon on Saturday, and all cars in the field will have a similar decal placed on the side of cockpit.

Joe Heitzler (CART Chairman and CEO): Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy. They are very much in the thoughts of all of us in the CART community. Like our government leaders, we believe it is important for all of us to begin moving back to a normal course. We hope our race here Saturday will help Americans, and people throughout the world, to do just that while memorializing the victims. We will be racing with a great sense of sadness and compassion, but also with a great deal of respect as we remember those affected by this tragedy."