Pook to lead CART

CART announced Wednesday that its Board of Directors has elected Long Beach Grand Prix founder Chris Pook as its new president and chief executive officer, effectively immediately. Pook has been tipped as the frontrunner to replace Joseph Heitzler since he stepped down as president last month.

James Grosfeld, a member of the board's search committee said of the announcement, "The board believes that Mr. Pook has the experience in the motorsports industry necessary to guide CART during these critical times. His reputation in the industry, significant shareholder support and outstanding business accomplishments made Mr. Pook the logical candidate for this position. We believe that Mr. Pook has the necessary skills and contacts to immediately make a positive impact on the Company and our sport. We expect and will demand results from Chris, and similarly, he expects and will receive our support as he leads this Company forward."

Pook conceived of and organized the popular Formula One Long Beach Grand Prix, which ran from 1976 to 1983, after which Bernie Ecclestone and race organizers failed to agree on money. Pook quickly signed a deal with CART, and the race has been a staple on the CART calendar ever since.

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