PRESS RELEASE: FEBRUARY 1ST, 2008
THE TURKS AND CAICOS WELCOMES INDY RACING
LEAGUE AND ANDRETTI GREEN RACING
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands; Friday, February 1st, 2008 - The Turks and Caicos Government has signed a letter of intent with the Indy Racing League (IRL) to put on Indy Turks and Caicos Grand Prix, slated for February 2009.
The Grand Prix will kick start the year of events for the IRL; and for this momentous world class event, a racing track will be constructed in Blue Hills, Providenciales, with work to commence in short order.
The event is to be broadcast live on EPSN, NBC and ABC, and the exposure generated and the potential injection of large sums of revenue into TCI's economy, will be a tremendous boost to our product: the Turks and Caicos Islands; as there will be four to five hours of non-stop racing related activities and events that are to be on air.
The promoters for the event will be Andretti Green Racing, which is a leading promoter of racing events, and owned by Michael Andretti, the former race-car driver.
Owing that which is entailed, and incorporated in establishing the actual creation of a racing conditions on the island, a tight deadline will be adhered to, as there is much needed doing.
The Indy Racing League is the sanctioning body of a predominantly American based open-wheel racing series. The League consists of two series, the premiere IndyCar Series, whose centerpiece is he Indianapolis 500, and the Indy Pro Series, which is a developmental series for the IRL.
The IRL is owned by Hulman and Co., which also owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Complex, and is managed by Mr. Tony George, the President and CEO; and Hulman heir.
Mr. George, accompanied by a team from the IRL and Andretti Green Racing were on Providenciales, yesterday, Thursday, January 31st meeting with the Premier and Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Dr. Michael Misick; Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Floyd Hall; and Hon. Jeffrey Hall, Minister of Works, thus signing the letter of intent, in addition to surveying the areas where the track is to be laid, and sort out the logistics for the event.
Premier Misick is of the view that all the necessary details will are achievable, as this will be a yearly event, fitting into his grand scheme, his vision for the Turks and Caicos to become the Monte Carlo of the Caribbean.
Hon. Dr. Misick was introduced to Mr. George in April of last year by Rich Abramson of Simmons Abramson Marketing Group. The race itself was an idea, a vision of the Premier for sometime, and as it was an opportune occasion for both parties meeting, thus commencing dialogue to bring about this initiative for our high end tourism destination.
In remarks he said: "We are very proud to be associated with the Indy Racing League and the George family; and we are really looking forward to putting on an exciting race; a race that we hope to develop into one of the pre-eminent races, not only in the Indy League, but also in world; and I would like to welcome Tony George and his organization into the Turks and Caicos".
The Premier added that his hope is to have a good and long term working relationship with the league; and went on to thank Gene Simmons and Rich Abramson, of Simmons Abramson Marketing Group, which represents the IRL, whom was instrumental in bringing this together, along with Peter Perratta, and Leslie Craft.
Mr. George said: "This is a very exciting opportunity for us to come to the Turks and Caicos and have the opportunity to really use this as a spring board to launch our season every year."
Moreover, "I think that the timing of a February event could be a great way to start off our season on an annual basis."
He added that the TCI is very a hospitable country; the Government and the Premier has been very gracious as our host; and they were very excited "to work with them in developing this opportunity, that I'm sure will be good for everyone concerned."
The CEO and President of the IRL stated that there has been some history of racing in Nassau, Bahamas; and he sees no reason why this alliance could not work. "We have used our energies and creative ideas to come up with activities to make an entire week of events around what would be in our first event of the season". Furthermore, he too is of the view that professional car racing in the TCI would bring a lot interest and revenue to the country.
Courtney S. Robinson
Office of the Premier,
Turks and Caicos Islands.
Tel: (649) 946-2801, ext.40916
Fax: (649) 946-1311