New company to promote race, Molson to retain title sponsorship
Toronto, Nov. 03, 2005 - Molson Canada and Grand Prix Association of Toronto today confirmed the transfer of race rights for the Molson Indy Toronto from Molson to Grand Prix Association of Toronto.
Grand Prix Association of Toronto, a company wholly-owned by Champ Car World Series (CCWS) co-owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven, will become the race promoter and Molson will remain title sponsor of the event to be known as the Molson Champ Car Grand Prix of Toronto in 2006. The agreement is subject to final documentation and approvals.
"Given our long-standing commitment to this event, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that continues our partnership with Champ Car and our involvement in the race," said Mark Hunter, Chief Commercial Officer, Molson Canada. "The Molson Champ Car Grand Prix of Toronto has been a popular fixture on the City's cultural scene for the past 20 years and this move ensures that race fans will continue to enjoy this world-class event."
"Grand Prix Association of Toronto is very pleased that the future of the Molson Champ Car Grand Prix of Toronto has been secured by today's announcement. The Toronto event is one of the cornerstones of the Champ Car World Series and is a key to the continued success of the series," said Kalkhoven. "The event has a huge positive impact on the City of Toronto. We will work with the city to continue this quality event as established by Molson."
Molson's decision to transfer the race rights to Champ Car comes as a result of a thorough examination of the Company's role in the sports and entertainment industry. The analysis concluded that focusing its involvement as the title sponsor of the event is best aligned with the Company's commercial agenda and brewing roots. Molson remains committed to continue its deeply-rooted tradition of supporting community groups and maintaining an active involvement in sports and entertainment activities that are relevant to its consumers.
Today's announcement caps a twenty-one month period of acquisition activity for Kalkhoven and Forsythe, who also respectively own PKV Racing and Forsythe Championship Racing Champ Car teams.
"The acquisition of the race rights for the Molson Champ Car Grand Prix of Toronto furthers our mission of ensuring the long-term future and prosperity of the Champ Car World Series," continued Kalkhoven. "It is our intention to capitalize on the exceptional support Champ Car has in Canada and ensure that Canadian race fans continue to have access to North America's most exciting open-wheel racing series."
Through a series of high-profile purchases, starting with the acquirement of the Champ Car World Series in January 2004, Kalkhoven and Forsythe have moved aggressively to further the growth of Champ Car and the development of the series' premiere North American events. Purchases include engine manufacturer Cosworth (November 2004), Pi Electronics (December 2004) as well as the Grand Prix of Long Beach (May 2005).. Today's transfer of the rights for the Molson Indy Toronto solidifies Champ Car's reputation as North America's premiere open-wheel racing series.
"This is yet another positive for the Champ Car family," says CCWS co-owner Paul Gentilozzi. "These are exciting times and the racing will be better than ever. In 2006 we introduce a new formula for the Champ Car Atlantic Championship - the Swift 016.a chassis design with a 2.3 liter Cosworth engine, which has reached more than 40 orders for 20 teams. Then in 2007 Champ Car will roll-out its new package, the Panoz DP01 chassis built by Élan Motorsports Technologies combined with a 2.65 litre turbocharged Ford-Cosworth V8 engine. Everything is lining up as we had hoped and the real beneficiaries of all these changes are race fans around the world."
"The success of Champ Car events in 2005 both in Canada and elsewhere clearly demonstrate that our formula for creating weekend-long festivals of speed and entertainment are a winning combination and attractive to the urban audiences we reach out to," stated Forsythe. "More that 1.6 million people have attended Champ Car races to date including 200,000 at our inaugural event in Edmonton and 318,000 at our most recent event in Surfers Paradise! People enjoy our brand of racing along with the exciting events that surround a race weekend."
About Molson Canada:
With roots dating back to 1786 and a time-honoured tradition of brewing quality beers, Molson Canada is proud to be the nation's preferred brewer. The company proudly offers the most popular brands in Canada with an award-winning brand portfolio which includes, Molson Canadian, Coors Light, Molson Export, Molson Dry, Rickard's, and A Marca Bavaria. Molson Canada also partners with other leading brewers to offer such global brands as, Heineken, Corona, Miller Genuine Draft and Foster's Lager. With 3,100 employees across Canada, Molson operates six breweries, including the boutique brewery Creemore, and is actively involved in communities from coast-to-coast through its various charitable initiatives and sports and entertainment sponsorships. Molson Canada is part of the Molson Coors Brewing Company, the world's fifth largest brewer.
About Champ Car:
The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford features some of the world's greatest race car drivers competing on the most diverse and exciting venues around the globe. Champions Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser and Canadian Paul Tracy along with 2004 Roshfrans Rookie of the Year A. J. Allmendinger and Canadians Alex Tagliani and Andrew Ranger are among the series competitors. Drivers compete annually for the Vanderbilt Cup during three-day festivals of speed on oval circuits, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses.