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CART sues Road America track over payments

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003

CART has filed a lawsuit against the Road America racetrack, contending it failed to make its first of three payments of sanctioning fees for the 2003 CART race.

CART said the first installment of $262,500 was due Jan. 1 and had not been made as of Feb. 10, according to the lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. The sanctioning fees for this year's event are $1.75-million.

The open-wheel racing organization also said in the suit that the track in Elkhart Lake, Wis., had not stated its intentions regarding the race.

A message left early Thursday at CART by the Associated Press was not immediately returned.

CART has raced at Road America annually since 1982. Road America's current contract with CART began in 1999 and expires after this season.

Road America president and general manager George Bruggenthies said Wednesday he expected this year's race, scheduled forAug. 3, to continue as planned.

"CART's had some tough times the last 18 months and we've supported them all the way," he said. "That's where our efforts have been."

In addition to a number of leadership changes, CART has lost several high-profile teams, drivers and engine manufacturers to the rival Indy Racing League.

CART opens its season on Feb. 23 in St. Petersburg.

FORMULA ONE: World champion Michael Schumacher turned 84 laps and set a record at the company circuit of Fiorano in Maranello, Italy.

Ferrari reported Schumacher turned his fastest lap in 56.807 seconds, topping the 57.045 he set on the first day of tests Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Schumacher could only turn a few laps after the car developed a problem in the hydraulic system.

His new Ferrari, named after Fiat's late chairman, Giovanni Agnelli, was launched in Maranello Feb. 7 and is expected to make its debut in the fourth championship race -- the San Marino Grand Prix -- at Imola in April.

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