Corvette Racing, ABC Supply Announce Good News For ’09

Big Bend, WI (December 22, 2008) – With more questions than answers, this off-season has been tough on racing participant and fan alike. The corporate giant GM has been at the center of much speculation. With a pending multi-billion bailout, many including this author think their motorsports program will be slashed. However late last week Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan announced that Corvette Racing’s GT1 program is alive and well. Look for Corvette to participate in the first half of the 2009 American Le Mans Series on the GT1 side in preparation for LeMans.

“The primary focus of the race team is the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach and, of course as it always has been, the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Fehan said. “We tested the GT1 car at Sebring in November. And we will be utilizing Sebring and Long Beach to put the final touches on the Le Mans effort. We’re continuously developing the car and package for fuel mileage, efficiency and new materials from our various suppliers. We want our last GT1 appearance at Le Mans to be successful. The team understands the importance of a victory at Sebring, Long Beach and Le Mans to close the GT1 program.”

Corvette also announced that the highly anticipated GT2 Corvette is still scheduled to debut at Mid-Ohio in early August, Fehan added. “Engineering and fabrication continues to focus on the GT2 program,” Fehan stated. “We expect the first actual race car to be completed in early February and will be testing that car in the spring.”

Some more good news was heard last week as ABC Supply Co. Inc. announced they have extended their contract with A.J. Foyt Racing to sponsor the popular #14 Dallara-Honda which will be driven by Indy car driven by Vitor Meira. The contract locks in the sponsorship for the 2009-2010 seasons with an option year for 2011.

Also announced as part of the agreement, is the company will again sponsor the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, May 31 which is good news for the venerable track.

“We are thrilled to have ABC Supply on board for the next two seasons,” said A.J. Foyt, who inked the deal earlier this month with America’s largest wholesale distributor of roofing, siding and windows. “We’ve had a really good relationship with everyone at ABC Supply for the last four years and I’m very happy that it will continue. They have been an important part of our being able to turn this team around and I believe they will see that it has been worth it. I think 2009 is going to be a great year for us.”

“This will be our fifth year sponsoring racing legend A.J. Foyt and the A.J. Foyt Racing team,” said David Luck, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABC Supply. “The values and work ethic that have served this racing dynasty are the same values that fuel ABC Supply, and we are excited to team up with A.J. once again.”

The IndyCar Series announced it was dropping the Belle Isle race from their 2009 schedule. Speculation is now on what track if any will replace it. Some tracks rumored are Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and Road America. Many thought the Belle Isle event would completely go away, however the American Le Mans Series is making plans to return to Detroit and continuing its participation in the event though not in ’09.

“In just two years, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix fulfilled its promise of bringing world-class racing back to the Motor City, a key market for our teams, manufacturers and marketing partners,” said Scott Atherton, Series President and CEO. “These are exceptionally challenging times, especially for the city of Detroit and the many automotive and related companies that call Detroit home. We salute and support the leadership shown by Roger Penske, Bud Denker and the entire staff of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Of course we are disappointed to lose this event from our 2009 schedule, but we are confident in their abilities to continue promoting and growing this fantastic event and eagerly anticipate our return to Detroit in the near future.”

In preparation of their 100th anniversary, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway recently unveiled the logos for all three motor racing events for the 2009 season at the legendary Brickyard. The 93rd Indianapolis 500, 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and second Red Bull Indianapolis GP event logos will share a similar design element in the bottom section, incorporating the words “Centennial Era.” The design theme is similar to the one unveiled earlier this year. The “Allstate” “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s logos are some of the most recognized and valuable assets in all of sports,” said IMS President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood. “The logos for our 2009 events certainly continue that great tradition.”

American LeMans Series, A.J. Foyt Racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media contributed to this report.

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